BORIS JOHNSON has not spoken to Donald Trump since last week’s fractious NATO summit when he appeared to join France’s Emmanuel Macron and Canada’s Justin Trudeau gossiping about the US President.
Footage of Mr Johnson with Mr Trudeau and Mr Macron at a Buckingham Palace reception appeared to show them laughing about an impromptu 45-minute press conference held by the US President. Conservative Party chiefs were reportedly worried the US President could hamper the Prime Minister’s election chances with an inappropriate remark or gesture so the pair were kept well apart.
Mr Johnson played down his relationship with Mr Trump and said he gets on well with “all sorts of leaders”.
When asked if he still got on well with Mr Trump, the Prime Minister told the Daily Mail: “I get on very well with President Macron, Chancellor Merkel, PM Conte, and all sorts of leaders. That is my job.”
Asked if he had spoken to Trump since the footage from the reception surfaced, he said: “No. But it was a good NATO leaders’ meeting and it showed the importance of NATO.”
The video of the three leaders drew a furious response from Mr Trump, who branded the Canadian Prime Minister “two-faced” but did not criticise Mr Johnson.
And today the US President again lashed out at Mr Macron and Mr Trudeau, accusing them of running “delinquent countries”.
He tweeted: “They were just upset that I demanded they pay their fair share for NATO.
“Their countries are delinquent. I raised $530 Billion more from NATO countries!”
The footage emerged on the eve of last week’s NATO summit in Watford.
Mr Trump branded Mr Trudeau “two-faced” at a press conference after the following day.
The US President told reporters: “Well, he’s two-faced. No, honestly Trudeau is a nice guy. I find him a very nice guy.
“But you know the truth is that I called him out on the fact that he’s not paying two percent and I guess he’s not very happy about it.
“You were there, a few of you were there.
“He’s not paying two percent and he should be paying two percent.
“In Canada they have money and he should be paying two percent. So I called him out on that and I’m sure he wasn’t happy about it.
“But that’s the way it is.”
Mr Trump’s name wasn’t mentioned in the video but many commentators and social media users were convinced the world leaders were speaking about the US President.
In the video, Mr Johnson can be heard saying to Mr Macron: “Is that why you were late?”
Mr Trudeau intervenes, saying: “He was late because he takes a 40-minute press conference off the top!”
Mr Macron then speaks and gestures animatedly, but his words are barely audible.
The Canadian leader can later be heard once again, seemingly speaking about the same person the group were chatting about earlier.
He says: “You just watched his team’s jaws drop to the floor.”
Mr Trudeau later insisted he was actually referring to Mr Trump’s press conference and denied claims he was bad-mouthing the US President during the leaked video.
He said he had been referring to President Trump’s “impromptu press conference” and that the reference to “jaws dropping” among members of the American’s team was about an unscheduled announcement that it would be the US hosting the next G7 summit.
Mr Macron also later said the conversation in the leaked footage “wasn’t supposed to be filmed”.
I get on very well with President Macron, Chancellor Merkel, PM Conte, and all sorts of leaders