Former prime minister Kim Campbell is not losing her position as an adviser on Supreme Court of Canada appointments after she publicly called for a hurricane to strike U.S. President Donald Trump’s Florida mansion.
Ms. Campbell on Wednesday quote-tweeted a message about Hurricane Dorian, which is expected to slam into Florida over the weekend.
“I’m hoping for a direct hit on Mar a Lago!” she wrote of Mr. Trump’s estate in Palm Beach, which is on the storm’s projected path.
Despite an avalanche of criticism from Twitter users accusing her of wishing destruction on an American town, Ms. Campbell initially refused to back down. In follow-up tweets, she suggested that a hurricane would be a way to disabuse Mr. Trump of his climate change denialism.
“We will see if Mrs. Post’s design can stand up to the assault!” she tweeted, referring to Marjorie Merriweather Post, Mar-a-Lago’s original owner. “I know Palm Beach well and am sorry if it gets a big hit. I wish I could believe that it would shake up Trump’s climate change denial!
In another tweet, she said it would “help if he tackled climate change which is making hurricanes more destructive,” before telling her critics to “get a grip.”
On Friday morning, Ms. Campbell erased the tweet and said she wanted to “sincerely apologize to all it offended.”
“It was intended as sarcasm – not a serious wish of harm. Throwaway lines get a life of their own on Twitter. I should know better. Mea culpa,” she wrote.
Ms. Campbell has chaired the Independent Advisory Board on Supreme Court appointments since 2016. The panel of legal scholars is tasked with recommending potential candidates for seats on the Supreme Court to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. As of Friday evening, Ms. Campbell was still listed as the group’s chairperson on a government website.
Mr. Trudeau’s office refused to say Friday whether the government had any concerns with her calling for Mr. Trump’s house to get hit by a potentially deadly storm.
“The tweet has been deleted and she apologized. We have nothing to add,” Chantal Gagnon, a spokeswoman for the Prime Minister, wrote in an e-mail.
Ms. Gagnon would not say whether Ms. Campbell would be precluded from chairing the panel in future after her comments. She said a new panel is formed for every Supreme Court appointment. While other members of the panel have changed between appointments over the past three years, Ms. Campbell has remained as chair throughout.
Neither Ms. Campbell nor the White House responded to requests for comment Friday.
Her tweets attracted significant media attention in the U.S., including several mentions on Fox News, the right-wing cable channel that Mr. Trump watches religiously.
Mr. Trudeau has carefully managed his relationship with Mr. Trump to avoid upsetting the mercurial President. During his first two years in office, Mr. Trump repeatedly accused Canada of cheating his country on trade, threatened to tear up the North American free-trade agreement (NAFTA), imposed steel and aluminum tariffs on Canada and publicly derided Mr. Trudeau, once calling him “weak” and “dishonest” for criticizing the metals tariffs.
Since concluding a renegotiation of NAFTA last fall, however, Mr. Trump has softened his rhetoric about Mr. Trudeau. The President lifted the steel and aluminum tariffs this spring.
Ms. Campbell was prime minister for just over four months in 1993, from the resignation of Brian Mulroney to her electoral defeat by Jean Chretien’s Liberals. Her Progressive Conservatives were reduced from a majority government to just two seats.
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