UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has praised American democracy as “strong” following the second impeachment trial against US ex-president Donald Trump that had resulted in his acquittal on Saturday.
Speaking to CBS's Face the Nation the next day, Johnson refrained from congratulating the former president following the result of the trial, and didn't draw attention to the fact that 57 senators – including seven Republicans – had voted to convict Trump for inciting “insurrection” in Washington on 6 January.
When asked to comment on the result of impeachment vote, Johnson simply complimented American constitution – but still pointed out that the whole trial was quite a bustle.
“I think the clear message that we get from the proceedings in America is that after all the toings and froings and all the kerfuffle, American democracy is strong and the American Constitution is strong and robust,” the Prime Minister told CBS’ Margaret Brennan.
Johnson then went on to say that he was happy now to have a solid base in his relationship with the Biden administration and “fantastic” conversations with the new US President on key topics on which he and Trump had quite diverse opinions – the status of Iran in the global community, the role of NATO, and global climate change.
“And we're delighted now, I'm very delighted, to have a good relationship with the White House, which is an important part of any UK prime minister's mission,” Johnson said.
“There’s been some important developments in the way the UK, US thinking has been coming together in the last few weeks, and particularly on issues like climate change, on NATO, on Iran, but above all, on the ways that the US and the UK are going to work together to deal with the environmental challenge that faces our planet.”
The prime minister concluded that he was encouraged to work with Biden on the issues currently at the focus of the White House.
In contrast to BoJo’s words, Biden earlier pointed out that the US democracy was “fragile” and “must always be defended” following Trump’s acquittal.
Change of Tones
Boris Johnson and Donald Trump had signalled a degree of mutual sympathy after the 45th US president took office in 2017. The two repeatedly exchanged compliments and praised each other’s vision for their country’s future; Trump had even called Johnson “Britain Trump”
But the UK prime minister was also among the first foreign leaders to congratulate Joe Biden following the announcement of his electoral victory in the US media in November, while Donald Trump was still maintaining that he was the one who won the November vote.
After a violent mob stormed the US Capitol building on 6 January, Johnson said that Trump’s refusal to concede the election to Biden was “completely wrong” as №10 has “unreservedly” condemned “encouraging people to behave in the disgraceful way that they did in the Capitol”.
"As you say, in so far as he encouraged people to storm the Capitol, and in so far as the president has consistently cast doubt on the outcome of a free and fair election, I believe that was completely wrong,” Johnson said a day after the violent events.
The US House of Representatives voted in January to impeach Donald Trump over accusations that his speech in front of the White House had provoked the intrusion in the Capitol building on 6 January - that had encouraged the protesters to storm Congress while it was about to certify Joe Biden’s victory. The Senate, however, voted to acquit Trump of the charge as only 57 members of the upper chamber had supported the case, while a super-majority of at least 67 was needed to find the ex-president guilty of incitement of “insurrection”.
Following the vote that took place on Saturday, Donald Trump promised Americans “a bright, radiant, and limitless” future as he had dismissed the trial, the second one in his presidential career, as another phase of the "greatest witch hunt” in the history of the US.