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‘They call him Britain Trump’ – What is Johnson’s relationship with the former president?

Boris Johnson and Donald Trump were born in the same city 18 years apart, but for the first few decades, they lived very different lives.

Trump was raised in New York where he became an interwoven part of the city’s business and financial fabric, while Mr Johnson returned to the UK with his family where he attended Eton and then Oxford, before becoming a journalist and a politician.

But fast forward a few years and their lives came together once again – Trump as a presidential candidate and Mr Johnson as Mayor of London.

In 2015, Trump sparked outrage around the world by calling for a “complete and total ban” on Muslims entering the US, which earned him a sharp rebuke.

Mr Johnson said at the time: “I would invite him to come and see the whole of London and take him round the city, except I wouldn’t want to expose any Londoners to any unnecessary risk of meeting Donald Trump.”

Just a few short years later, however, they were very much aligned on a defining issue in UK politics – Brexit.

In July 2019, when Mr Johnson became prime minister after the collapse of Theresa May’s government, Mr Trump said: “We have a really good man who’s going to be the prime minister of the UK now.

“He’s tough and he’s smart. They’re saying, ‘Britain Trump’. They call him ‘Britain Trump’ and people are saying that’s a good thing.”

They met at NATO and United Nations conferences in the following months, but their relationship soon turned  a little sour.

During the 6th January riot at the US Capitol – where Trump supporters sought to overturn the result of the recent presidential election to keep him in office – Mr Johnson was one of the first leaders to speak out against the horrifying scenes.

And earlier this month, Trump expressed mixed feelings about Mr Johnson in an interview with Nigel Farage on GB News.

He said: “I liked him so much, I still like him, but he really went a little bit on the liberal side.

“He all of a sudden became an environmentalist and I’m talking about probably in a negative way, too much.”

The ex-president said Mr Johnson had “changed”, adding: “A wonderful guy, he’s a friend of mine.”

So not exactly friends, but not enemies either. And if anyone can influence Trump into being more supportive of Ukraine, it might just be ‘Britain Trump’.