With Donald Trump scheduled to visit London next week for a NATO summit, allies of Prime Minister Boris Johnson are holding their collective breath hoping the American president won't say the wrong thing and possibly damage Johnson's hold on power before the December 12 election.
According to Bloomberg, "A few hours in the genteel English countryside next week could be the biggest risk to Boris Johnson in the final stretch of his election bid. The British prime minister will interrupt his campaign to briefly host NATO leaders at a luxury resort with a golf course and spa," where he will likely meet one-on-one with Trump in what some suggest could turn into a "trainwreck."
"Ahead of the Dec. 12 election, the U.S. president may yet become the most dangerous weapon in the armory of British opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn, whose Labour Party aims to oust Johnson’s Conservatives," the report states. "Corbyn’s argument is simple: Johnson and Trump are right-wing soul mates who collectively pose an unprecedented threat to the U.K.’s cherished National Health Service."
Bloomberg reports Trump will land in London on Monday where he will likely be greeted by protesters, but more concerning for the Tories than the optics of the unpopular U.S. president visiting as a guest of Johnson is what might come out of Trump's mouth.
"What senior Tories worry about the most is that Trump will go off script. One senior official confided that this was the biggest risk facing the election operation. The president can’t be trusted to stop himself weighing in with ill-judged comments, the official said," Bloomberg's Tim Ross wrote. "A cabinet minister endorsed those concerns. Another senior official said measures were being taken to minimize the risk, though they didn’t say how this would be possible given Trump’s penchant for speaking his mind at all hours on Twitter, or for going off topic when he holds media briefings."
In an effort to keep things close to the vest Tory ministers are hoping to keep the visit under control by keeping Trump out of the spotlight.
"When Trump arrives at the country estate, don’t expect him to be welcomed with fanfare or a public hug from Johnson," the report states. "A joint press conference is not on the agenda for now. This is one presidential visit that will be kept as low key as Johnson’s nervous aides can manage."
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