U.S. President Donald Trump answers questions from the media after the firing of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson before departing from the White House on March 13, 2018 in Washington, DC. President Trump is traveling to California to view prototypes of a proposed border wall.
Photo by Mark Wilson—Getty Images
By Alana Abramson
March 15, 2018

President Donald Trump bragged about lying to the Canadian prime minister, argued a Democrat who just won a special election was just like him and tried to sell his trade policies to a group of Republican donors Wednesday.

Speaking behind closed doors at a fundraiser for Attorney General Josh Hawley, who is running for the Republican Senate nomination, Trump said that he told Prime Minister Justin Trudeau that the U.S. has a trade deficit with Canada, then conceded that he did not know if that was true, according to audio obtained by TIME. (It is not.)

He also weighed in on the recent special election in Pennsylvania’s 18th congressional district, claiming that Democratic candidate Conor Lamb is essentially a conservative.

“He ran on a campaign that said very nice things about me,” Trump said of Lamb. “I was saying ‘is he a Republican?’ It sounds like a Republican to me. But I guess when you’re popular in a certain area that’s probably a good tactic.”

Read the full transcript of Trump’s speech from Hawley’s fundraiser below:

Read More: President Trump Pitched Tariffs to Republican Donors. He Was Met With Silence

Read More: President Trump Claims the U.S. Has a Trade Deficit With Canada. That’s Not So Clear

Write to Alana Abramson at Alana.Abramson@time.com.

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