Trump Endorses Hardline Brexiteer Boris Johnson For U.K. Prime Minister
Donald Trump has endorsed Boris Johnson to succeed Prime Minister Theresa May as the United Kingdom’s next prime minister. In an interview with the Sun, the president said, “I think Boris would do a very good job. I think he would be excellent.” Johnson is a hardline Brexiteer, who passionately campaigned for the Leave side before the 2016 referendum. Johnson later resigned from his post as foreign secretary over the way in which May was handling negotiations with Brussels.
The former foreign secretary has not always seen eye-to-eye with the president, frequently attacking him in 2015. For example, after Trump claimed that London had no-go areas where police were afraid of being attacked by Muslims, Johnson said that the president’s statement showed “quite stupefying ignorance that makes him frankly unfit to hold the office of president of the United States.” Anti-Brexit protestors have attempted to bring these insults to the president’s eyes by projecting videos of Johnson’s interviews onto the base of Big Ben.
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 #TrumpUKVisit pic.twitter.com/etUb6tk9eX
— Led By Donkeys (@ByDonkeys) June 3, 2019
In addition to Johnson, Trump has also publicly shown support for the populist leader Nigel Farage. Farage, whose Brexit party recently won a third of the British vote in the European Parliament elections, has previously talked positively about the American leader.
It is clear Donald Trump wants Brexit to happen. He is a true friend to Britain. pic.twitter.com/bWpfROqUd7
— Nigel Farage (@Nigel_Farage) June 3, 2019
The two politicians have much in common, with a large populist base helping them to uproot much of the old establishment. However, according to a Washington source, the president’s team was told by Downing Street, the center of the British Government, not to meet with Farage.
Trump’s visit comes at an especially tumultuous time for Britain. With May set to resign on Friday after a long and tedious series of political failures, the Conservative party has entered into a chaotic race as to who will become the next P.M. As Brexit continues to consume the nation’s politics, the internal Tory election will determine who will lead the country out of the E.U., and how. The main differentiating factor between candidates is almost entirely their position on Brexit, and how much of a hardliner they are. With Johnson as the most extreme hardliner out there, he stands as the current frontrunner in the election. The party will slowly whittle down the field until they eventually reach two candidates, with a series of publicized BBC debates to take place in June.