- US President Donald Trump accused UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson of “betrayal” after slamming down the phone on him during an “apoplectic” call between the two leaders.
- Trump used the term while he was speaking with a senior White House figure, according to The Mail on Sunday.
- The revelation comes after Johnson cancelled his planned trip to the US after the furious phone call.
- The collapse in relations between the two leaders comes despite Trump previously lavishing praise on the prime minister.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
US President Donald Trump accused UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson of “betrayal” after he slammed down the phone on Johnson during an “apoplectic” call last month.
The president used the term when talking to a senior White House figure, according to The Mail on Sunday.
Trump’s fury was triggered after Johnson defied the president in allowing the Chinese telecom company Huawei a role in developing the UK’s 5G network, according to The Mail.
The president’s behaviour during the call was described by officials with knowledge of the exchange as “apoplectic.” After the call, Johnson cancelled his planned trip to the White House next month.
A Downing Street source confirmed that the trip had been cancelled because of fears of further clashes with the president.
Trump’s administration has continued its threats to restrict intelligence sharing with the UK unless Johnson reverses his decision.
Mick Mulvaney, Trump’s chief of staff, last week told UK officials that allowing the deal to go ahead would have a “direct and dramatic impact” on the cooperation between the two countries.
Despite the threats, other European countries look set to follow Johnson in giving the green light to Huawei.
Earlier this month, German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union backed a positions paper that ruled out an outright ban on Huawei.
Christian Democratic Union sources told Reuters that party leaders decided against backing an outright ban on the company and endorsed a four-page document that said “state actors with sufficient resources can infiltrate the network of any equipment maker.”
The paper added that “the use of strong cryptography and end-to-end encryption can secure confidentiality in communication and the exchange of data.”
Other European leaders are also set to follow the UK’s lead in backing Huawei, Politico reported last month.
The development prompted former House Speaker Newt Gingrich to label Trump’s failure to persuade allies on Huawei as “the biggest strategic defeat for the United States since the early days of World War II.”
“I think people have got to wake up and understand this is a huge failure of our government bureaucracies to respond to a challenge we’ve seen coming,” he told the BBC.
‘Britain Trump’ distances himself from the president
The prime minister had been one of Trump’s few close international allies. The president has called Johnson “fantastic,” a “good man,” and “Britain Trump.”
Relations broke down in recent weeks, however, after a series of high-profile threats from Trump and several 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.
The Times reported that Trump’s threats “irritated” the UK government, with Johnson frustrated at the president’s failure to suggest any alternatives.
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After the call, US Vice President Mike Pence said the Trump administration had made its disappointment with the UK “very clear to them.”
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