Politics - News Analysis
UK’s Boris Johnson Cancels Trip to the U.S. After Bitchy Trump Hangs Up on Him
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson canceled a trip to the U.S. planned for next month after a furious phone call from Donald Trump in which Trump slammed down the phone on the prime minister.
Johnson had been due to visit Washington last month but repeatedly delayed the trip after a series of arguments with the president over Iran, Huawei, and a rejected request by the prime minister to extradite the wife of a U.S. diplomat.
The disagreements culminated in a phone call last month in which Trump hung up on Johnson, according to officials with knowledge of the conversation.
Johnson has now canceled his trip altogether, according to the newspaper The Sun, now planning on forgoing a trip to the country until the G7 summit in June.
The prime minister had been one of Trump’s few close international allies, with the president labeling Johnson “fantastic,” a “good man,” and “Britain Trump.”
Relations broke down in recent weeks, however, following a series of high-profile threats from Trump and a series of pointed interventions against Trump by Johnson and senior members of his government.
The call last month, which one source described to the Financial Times as “very difficult,” came after Johnson defied Trump and allowed the Chinese telecom company Huawei the rights to develop the UK’s 5G network.
Johnson backed Huawei despite multiple threats by Trump and his allies that the U.S. would withdraw security cooperation with the UK if the deal went ahead. The US fears that Huawei’s technology could have backdoors for the Chinese government.
Trump’s threats reportedly “irritated” the UK government, with Johnson frustrated at the president’s failure to suggest any alternatives.
Following the call, Vice President Mike Pence said the Trump administration had made its disappointment with the UK “very clear to them.”
Here’s my favorite Boris moment, when he saved Trump from falling down the stairs. He shouldn’t let Trump fall.
In which a French staircase nearly saves western civilization. pic.twitter.com/f28lV75Bc0
— MadDogPAC (@maddogpac) August 25, 2019