U.S. President Donald Trump and Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson | Pool photo by Stefan Rousseau via Getty Images
Boris Johnson holds late-night chat with Donald Trump
US and UK leaders discuss need for unity on defense ahead of NATO leaders’ meeting.
Updated 12/4/19, 5:36 AM CET
LONDON — Boris Johnson and Donald Trump snuck in a quick private meeting Tuesday evening with little fanfare ahead of a NATO leaders’ meeting in London Wednesday.
The U.K. prime minister and U.S. president discussed the importance of the military alliance and the need for unity to address evolving threats during a head-to-head in Downing Street.
Johnson wants to avoid appearing too close to his U.S. counterpart, who is deeply unpopular in Britain, for fear it could scupper his chances in the country’s general election next week. That could explain why the meeting was not announced in advance.
Earlier on Tuesday, Trump said he would not comment on the election, saying he did not want to “complicate” matters — before promptly endorsing Johnson as “competent.”
He also helped his ally out by saying he did not want the U.K. public health service to be part of a trade deal with the U.S. even if it were handed over “on a silver platter.” Opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn has been claiming the opposite, saying Trump wants U.S. firms to win private contracts in the National Health Service and push up drug prices.
“The prime minister met President Trump this evening at Downing Street,” a No.