WATCH: US President Trump "surprised" by Trudeau in blackface

US President Trump speaks about Justin Trudeau in blackface

US President Donald Trump says he was "surprised" to hear about the photos that surfaced, showing Justin Trudeau dressed up in blackface.

"I was hoping I wouldn't be asked that question… Justin, I'm surprised, and I was more surprised when I saw the number of times,"

But Trump steered clear of inserting his opinion into the controversy.

"You know I've always had a good relationship with Justin, I just don't know what to tell you, I was surprised by it, actually."   

Trudeau says he's focused on apologizing to Canadians, including his rival, NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh.

Trudeau has reached out to Singh to talk since the release of three different images showing Trudeau in black- or brownface that Singh condemned as personally hurtful.

Singh says he's open to talking to the Liberal leader, as long as it remains a private conversation.

The world's press wasted no time pouncing on three separate instances in the 1990s and 2000s where Trudeau acknowledged he committed the racist act of painting his face and hands black or brown for various costume events.

Trudeau reiterated his apology Friday, saying his focus for now is making amends to those he's hurt by the ``terrible choices''  he made years ago.