During a congratulatory telephone call, Trump invited UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson to visit the US to celebrate the latter’s recent general election victory, the Daily Mail reported. According to the report, Trump told Johnson that the PM and girlfriend Carrie Symonds could “go wherever they wanted” in the US.
The Sunday Times report adds, citing Downing Street sources, that Trump also invited Johnson to the White House, although formal discussions on the protocols for the visit are yet to be held.
"Some potential dates have been floated in mid-January but nothing has yet been formally agreed. But it is clear that both sides want to make it happen some time in early 2020," the Sunday Times quotes its White House source as saying.
The Daily Mail suggests, citing unnamed sources, that the prime minister is reluctant to visit the US prior to Trump’s impeachment trial in the US Senate and before Johnson’s 31 January Brexit deadline. The prime minister has a cabinet reshuffle planned for February as well, which could also be contributing to a delay.
According to the sources, Johnson is widely expected to name Michael Gove as his new trade supremo responsible for talks with both the European Union and the United States, and this would allow the prime minister to take Gove with him ahead of key talks over a post-Brexit trade deal with the US.
Neither Johnson, nor Trump have commented on the reports so far.
The newspaper cited rumours that, during the December visit to the NATO summit in Watford, Johnson was anxious that Trump would give his Labour opponents a ‘gift’ by pulling a characteristically embarrassing gaffe.
Prior to the 12 December general election in the UK, The Times reported that Johnson wanted to keep public appearances Trump at a minimum over concerns that it could impact the Tories’ positions ahead of the crucial vote.
Johnson scored a decisive victory in the 12 December snap general election, vowing to do his best to deliver Brexit on 31 January, with "no ifs or buts". President Trump, for his part, has voiced his support of Johnson ahead of the election on multiple occasions, touting a possible trade agreement with the UK should Boris win.
The two leaders have repeatedly exchanged compliments, with Trump hailing Johnson as a “good man,” while the UK prime minister spoke of Trump’s “many, many good qualities,” The Daily Mail noted. The two are often compared to each other by the media – both for their protectionist policies and eye-catching hairstyles.