New Zealand PM hits back at Trump's 'patently wrong' virus claims
"Obviously, it's patently wrong," she added of Trump's remarks, in unusually blunt criticism from an American ally.
But the recent discovery of a cluster in Auckland forced the country's largest city back into lockdown.
"They beat it; they beat it. It was like front page (news), they beat it because they wanted to show me something."
New Zealand, with a population of five million, has around 1,300 coronavirus cases since the pandemic began roughly eight months ago and around 70 active cases.
The United States, on the other hand, is the hardest-hit nation in the world with well over five million cases and more than 170,000 deaths.
Shortly after her stunning election win in 2017, Trump met her at a summit in Vietnam and joked she had "caused a lot of upset in her country".
"You know, no one marched when I was elected," she retorted, referring to the protests that followed Trump's victory in 2016.
Both leaders are heading into elections in the coming weeks, and for both, trading barbs is likely to play well with supporters.
Ardern has been forced to postpone the elections by a month because of the latest outbreak, putting her sizable lead in the polls at risk.
Trump is trailing Democrat Joe Biden in the polls and facing fierce criticism over his handling of the pandemic.