Canadian prime minister Trudeau's chief secretary resigns

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In Winnipeg, Trudeau says he's surprised and disappointed that Wilson-Raybould has quit, and that if she felt undue pressure in her role as attorney general, she had a duty to report it to him.

"What's clear after the Justice Committee meeting, is that the Liberals have no interest in finding the truth and are only interested in helping the Prime Minister cover this up", said Motz. Lawyers dispute claim solicitor-client privilege bars ex-AG comment on alleged PMO "pressure' in SNC-Lavalin case Some legal experts dispute the assertion that solicitor-client privilege bars Jody Wilson-Raybould from making any comment on The Globe and Mail's explosive but unproven allegation that the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) "pressed" the then-attorney general last fall to nix the bribery prosecution of SNC-Lavalin in favour of a remediation agreement enabling the Montreal-based construction giant to remain eligible for lucrative federal government contracts".

"But the fact is that this accusation exists".

Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks during a visit to the Winnipeg Transit Fort Rouge Garage as he makes a transit infrastructure announcement in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, February 12, 2019.

When asked for her side of the story, Wilson-Raybould has cited solicitor-client privilege. When she resigned from her post as Veterans Affairs Minister, she announced that she had hired Supreme Court justice Thomas Cromwell to advise her what topics she's legally able to discuss.

Butts is one of several top Trudeau aides the opposition parties had wanted to call before the House of Commons justice committee to testify on what happened.

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While talking about the demotion of former attorney general Jody Wilson Raybould, Housefather told host Elias Makos the cabinet shuffle may have had to do with her lack of French.

Trudeau said Wilson-Raybould spoke with him about the matter in September.

In his statement, Butts writes positively of his relationship with Wilson-Raybould. His Liberals, whose fortunes he revived after they were reduced to third-party status by the Conservatives under Former Prime Minister Stephen Harper, have a long track record of questionable back-room ties to corporate Canada. "From my perspective, our relationship has always been defined by mutual respect, candour and an honest desire to work together".

Trudeau, who faces a re-election bid in October, accepted Butts' resignation and said he had served the country with "integrity, sage advice and devotion".

Butts became close friends with Trudeau in university and over the next two decades would help chart Trudeau's political future.

Gerald Butts, senior political advisor to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, speaks with Katie Telford, chief of staff to the prime minister, before a swearing in ceremony at Rideau Hall in Ottawa on Wednesday, July 18, 2018.