Ambassador claims Trump ‘unlikely to hold grudge’ over Johnson’s past criticisms

Donald Trump during a state visit to the UK. Photograph: Stefan Rousseau/PA.

Donald Trump during a state visit to the UK. Photograph: Stefan Rousseau/PA. - Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

Donald Trump is unlikely to hold a grudge against Boris Johnson for his past remarks about the US president, the ambassador to the UK has insisted.

Woody Johnson suggested the US president would be relaxed about the British prime minister having accused him of "stupefying ignorance" and criticising his "go back" comments, which were widely condemned as racist.

As London mayor in 2015, Boris Johnson accused Trump of "stupefying ignorance" and being "unfit" for the White House when the then-presidential candidate called for a ban on Muslims entering the US.

But Washington's man in London told BBC Radio 4's Today programme he is "sure" Trump is aware of the criticism, which he said may have been an "odd comment at the time".

"Donald Trump is going to say what he wants to say, when he wants to say it," the ambassador said.

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"And he will comment on injustices or inabilities or how he sees it and I think he respects Boris for the same. Boris is going to call it as he sees it.

"I think they have so much more in common in terms of what they want to accomplish for the good of both of our nations."

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Johnson refused to call Trump's recent "go back" remarks to four congresswomen of colour racist, as many did, but he did brand them completely unacceptable in rare criticism of the president.

Asked if Trump will hold the comments against the PM, the ambassador said: "I think the president is going to try and move the ball forward.

"The UK is our most important ally both in security and also in prosperity. You are very important and he knows that and he's made some comments regarding a free trade agreement and putting the UK at the front of the line."

During Trump's state visit to the UK the Led By Donkeys campaigners projected a video of Boris Johnson's comments on to Big Ben in an attempt to embarrass both politicians.

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