Boris Johnson has cancelled his planned trip to the White House after Trump slammed the phone down on him in a moment of 'apoplectic' furyby Adam Bienkov
- UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has cancelled a planned trip to meet with President Donald Trump next month after a furious row between the two men.
- Johnson had been due to visit Washington shortly after his election victory in December.
- The visit has been repeatedly delayed, however, amid a series of disagreements between the two leaders.
- Trump slammed the phone down on Johnson last month after the prime minister defied him on the issue of Huawei’s involvement in the UK.
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UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has cancelled a trip to the US planned for next month after a furious phone call from President 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 rows with the president over Iran, Huawei, and a rejected request by the prime minister to extradite the wife of a US 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 cancelled his trip altogether, according to the newspaper The Sun, now planning on forgoing a trip to the country until the G7 summit in June.
Downing Street insisted on Thursday that Johnson would concentrate instead on his domestic agenda over the coming months.
“When the Eye of Sauron is off the Whitehall machine, things stop working,” one source told the paper.
“That is why he has stripped down all his foreign travel this year to get his agenda done.”
‘Britain Trump’ distances himself from the president
The prime minister had been one of Trump’s few close international allies, with the president labelling 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 US 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, US Vice President Mike Pence said the Trump administration had made its disappointment with the UK “very clear to them.”