Is the Prime Ministers buried announcement of Trump meeting an insight into her opinion?

The AM Show 18/09/2019

Jacinda Ardern may have revealed her feelings about US President Donald Trump by burying the announcement she's meeting him near the bottom of a press release, Newshub's political editor says. 

On Tuesday, Prime Minister Ardern announced she will meet Trump to discuss trade and the Pacific while in New York next week for the United Nations General Assembly.

"The US is a key security partner for New Zealand, and an important trading partner. Two-way trade is over $18 billion, and there is strong support from the New Zealand business community to further strengthen our trade and economic ties," Ardern said. 

While Newshub's Tova O'Brien said the meeting was a big deal, the fact it wasn't mentioned until nearly the end of a press release on Tuesday likely hints at how Ardern feels about the controversial President.

"For any Prime Minister to meet any US President. It spoke volumes, I think, about this Prime Minister meeting this particular US President, the way Jacinda Ardern announced it," she told The AM Show on Wednesday.

"Normally, these things would be sung from the rooftops. Jacinda Ardern buried it at the very, very, very, very, very bottom of a press release. Fourth paragraph from the bottom after basically everything else she is doing in Tokyo and New York.

"That probably tells you a few things about how Jacinda Ardern feels about Donald Trump. That small act of press release rebellion may be the kind of only act of protest the Prime Minister takes to that first official meeting with Donald Trump."

Source: Reuters

Ardern's reluctance to make a big deal about the meeting was something The AM Show host Duncan Garner also picked up on. 

"We had her on the programme yesterday and she sat in this studio, she would have been in the building for 20 odd minutes," he said on Wednesday.

"She had ample opportunity to divert the focus around the Labour Party shemozzle by saying 'Duncan, before you get started this morning, I want to announce that I am meeting the President of the United States next week'.

"She could have completely turned the interview on its head yesterday morning live, and she didn't. I wonder why."

Ardern wouldn't say on Tuesday if women's rights will be raised with Trump, whose attitude towards women have been roundly criticised in the past - something O'Brien says many of Ardern's supporters may expect.

"The Prime Minister's M.O. [modus operandi] in this is trying not to poke the bear and antagonise Donald Trump," O'Brien said.

"There will be a lot of people who aren't Donald Trump's biggest fans and who think Jacinda Ardern is a champion of women, she has established herself as such, and would expect she would raise that, especially after everything that has been going on in the Labour Party."

Ardern hasn't shied away from speaking out against Trump. In July, she condemned a tweet he posted in which he said four American congresswomen should "go back" to the countries they "originally came from".

One of the Prime Minister's main priorities in the meeting will likely be steel and aluminium tariffs placed on New Zealand by the United States.

The AM Show / Newshub reporter Jamie Ensor