Awkward: Trump’s ‘friend’ Boris Johnson turned down personal meeting during UK trip
Trump, who is on a three-day UK visit, reportedly asked for a personal meeting with Johnson, who is tipped to replace outgoing Theresa May as the Conservative Party leader — but party politics appears to have trumped a tête-à-tête with the American president.
‘A very talented guy’
Unwilling to elaborate on the decision, BoJo ducked a question from reporters about meeting Trump on Tuesday morning. It wasn’t a total snub, however. ITV reported that the pair instead had a 20-minute phone call, which an aide for Johnson reportedly described as “friendly and productive.”
In an interview with the Sunday Times last week, Trump weighed into British politics, suggesting Johnson would make an “excellent” prime minister. Ahead of the trip, Trump also told reporters that Johnson is a “friend.” He was similarly complimentary when the Tory MP resigned from May’s cabinet last summer over her handling of Brexit, calling him “a very talented guy.”
BoJo’s feelings on Trump have not always been so clear cut. In 2015, when Johnson was mayor of London, he called out the “stupefying ignorance” of Trump, after he suggested there were dangerous “no-go areas” in the city. Those comments made him “frankly unfit to hold the office of president of the United States,” Johnson said, scathingly adding:
“I would invite [Trump] to come and see the whole of London and take him around the city, except that I wouldn’t want to expose Londoners to any unnecessary risk of meeting Donald Trump.”
Just as a reminder to Trump, the anti-Brexit campaign group Led By Donkeys decided to project that particular clip of Johnson onto the side of Big Ben on Monday, lest anyone forget how the potential future British PM once felt about the pro-Brexit US president.
Hey @realDonaldTrump, you just endorsed your Brexit buddy @BorisJohnson but he said some VERY NASTY things about you and he doesn’t want you to know. So we projected his words onto Big Ben. Watch with the SOUND ON #TrumpUKVisitpic.twitter.com/etUb6tk9eX— Led By Donkeys (@ByDonkeys) June 3, 2019
Hopefully, for BoJo’s sake, Trump won’t see the previous comments, or he might run the risk of being labelled a “stone cold loser” — the term Trump used on Monday to describe London’s current mayor, Sadiq Khan.
Johnson’s change of heart on Trump seems to have come conveniently after he won the presidency. In a 2017 interview with Fox News, he called Trump a “great global brand” who is “penetrating corners of the global consciousness.”
Then, in a leaked audio recording obtained by BuzzFeed in 2018, Johnson admitted he had become “increasingly admiring” of Trump and was convinced that there is a “method in his madness.”Also on rt.com Trump tests US-UK ‘special relationship,’ upsetting British figures before state visit
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