Trump accused Boris Johnson of 'betrayal' after slamming the phone down on him in a moment of 'apoplectic' fury

Boris Johnson Trump
Boris Johnson Trump


  • 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.

  • The President used the term to a senior White House figure according to the Mail on Sunday newspaper.

  • The revelation comes after Johnson cancelled his planned trip to the US following 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.

Donald Trump accused UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson of "betrayal" after slamming down the phone on him following an "apoplectic" call last month.

The president used the term when talking to a senior White House figure, according to the Mail on Sunday newspaper.

Trump's fury was triggered after Johnson defied the president in allowing the Chinese telecoms company Huawei a role in developing the UK's 5G network.

The president's behaviour during the call was described by officials with knowledge of the exchange as "apoplectic." Following the call, Johnson cancelled his planned trip to the White House next month.

A Downing Street source confirmed that the trip had been cancelled due to 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.

Trump's chief of staff Mick Mulvaney last week told UK officials that allowing the deal to go ahead would have a "direct and dramatic impact" on the co-operation 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 Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats backed a positions paper which ruled out an outright ban on Huawei.

Christian Democrat sources told Reuters that party leaders decided against backing an outright ban on the company because: "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 has prompted former Republican 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

Boris Johnson and Donald Trump
Boris Johnson and Donald Trump


The prime minister had been one of Trump's few close international allies, with the president labeling 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."

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