Supporters of U.S. President Donald Trump stand on the sidewalk as his motorcade passes by in West Palm Beach, Florida, on Sunday. Photo: REUTERS/Yuri Gripas
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Trump off to London for NATO summit, under pressure to steer clear of British election

39 Comments
By Steve Holland

U.S. President Donald Trump leaves on Monday for a NATO summit in London and he is under pressure from British Prime Minister Boris Johnson to resist the temptation to wade into the British election campaign coming up later in December.

As a presidential candidate in 2016 and then as president since early 2017, Trump has shown no restraint in showing support for Britain's exit from the European Union and critiquing the politicians involved in the country's long-running Brexit debate.

But with Johnson leading polls as he faces Dec 12 elections, the prime minister who is hosting the London NATO summit wants Trump to mind the guard-rails, putting Trump in the unusual position of trying to avoid his normal impulse to comment on whatever he wishes.

Trump waded into the election in October by saying opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn would be “so bad” for Britain and that Johnson should agree on a pact with Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage.

Johnson's pressure prompted the White House to stress, as a senior administration official said, that Trump "is absolutely cognizant of not, again, wading into other country's elections."

That strategy could be put to the test as Trump faces reporters a number of times on the trip, including at what is expected to be a news conference on Wednesday.

The NATO summit takes place as Trump battles an effort led by Democrats who control the U.S. House of Representatives to force his removal from office through impeachment over his pressure on Ukraine to investigate Democratic rival Joe Biden.

The impeachment imbroglio has overshadowed Trump's presidency as he looks ahead to his own re-election fight next November.

Trump, who got back to the United States on Friday from a whirlwind trip to Afghanistan, arrives in London on Monday night for two days of meetings with NATO leaders gathered for the summit.

He will have separate talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Emmanuel Macron and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and attend a working lunch with representatives from Estonia, Greece, Latvia, Poland, Romania, Lithuania, Bulgaria, and the United Kingdom.

U.S. officials see the NATO summit as a celebratory moment for Trump as his pressure on member nations has led many to increase their military spending.

He is expected to seek support from member nations to increase pressure on China for what the United States sees as Beijing's expansionist policies.

"China is actively seeking a great presence and more influence across the globe, including in NATO's area of responsibility," said a senior administration official.

© (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2019.

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

39 Comments

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All it will take is just one question from a reporter on who he thinks will be better for Britain, Jeremy Corbyn or Boris Johnson?

5 ( +5 / -0 )

trump destroyer of alliances, Japan might as well get use to being a satellite state of China.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

Impossible for Trump to keep his GOB shut. The NATO agreement for each member country to spend 2% of their GDP on defense was agreed before Trump became president and isn't binding on all members until 2025.

Also Germany will increase the size of its contribution to the basic NATO budget of about €2 billion and equal to the 23% paid by America. But the budget is very small for the day-to-day running of NATO.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Labour will be hoping that Trump, a president very unpopular in the UK, will wade in again. Labour seem to be closing in the polls and the idea of Bozo and Rump making deals for a post-Brexit UK is horrific to many.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

According to the latest polls the gap between the tories and labour is down to less than 8%.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

The bull heads over to the UK china shop. The stiff upper lips are already a-quiver.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

@zichi

After Trump makes that public show of support for Johnson, watch that 8% become -8%. Had Johnson not say anything, Trump would have never said anything. However, a public request means you challenged Trump. Now he must respond by doing the opposite of what was requested.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

To our British friends:

If Trump is endorsing a candidate you can be sure HE IS A CROOK.

Stay away from Trump's pick in your election.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

Yes, please just ignore the Great Orange Idiot - that's what we do here in the US. He'll no doubt make a complete and utter fool of himself - say his father was born in Manchester, etc.

If you could, give him a tour of the Tower of London and lock him on one of the cells - just manage to get his cell phone so he can't tweet his way out...

5 ( +6 / -1 )

The average Electoral predicted defined probability, can be depicted within the Smartest betting average of a 69.2% Tory majority of between 40 and 54 seats.

However there are deal breaking scenarios where Dominic Raab, Iain Duncan Smith, Steve Baker, John Redwood, Philip Davies, Zac Goldsmith and Boris Johnson, could lose there seats. Yes that Boris Johnson Conservative Party leader.

There are also ten key marginals, Brecon and Radnorshire, Bolsover, Cheltenham, Hastings and Rye, Crewe and Nantwich Richmond Park, Newcastle-under-Lyme, Stirling, Ashfield, and Canterbury.

Then the key regions have to be factored in, South East and the Home Counties, Midlands and East Anglia, South West, Wales and the 59 seats in Scotland all identified by quantitative forecasting models as volatile.

Public opinion can change on a dally basis, clear evidence is various available polling averages.

So U.S. President Donald Trump intervention could be a key irritation factor politically.

Smarkets - Party to win the most parliamentary seats

https://smarkets.com/event/829237/politics/uk/next-uk-general-election/most-ge-seats

I wanted flutterer but it is too risky.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Thats a 69.2% Conservative majority within the betting average, not in the future House of Commons, to avoid confusion.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Trump goin' to UK? Visiting one of his golf courses?

He is just gonna make relationships even worse, since he can't keep his mouth shut!

Those "private meetings" with some of the European "leaders" won't go anywhere!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Donny dementia has worsened recently.

Apparently he forgets the names of people, he forgets his own words, his speech is slurry, get angry, impatient for no reason etc etc.

Which make his UK trip a nightmare, how long before he puts his foot in his mouth !!!!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I cannot envisage President Trump keeping schtum. The UK media will wind President Trump up like clock, the moment Trump steps off Airforce One.

And after? The tactical campaigning/voting groups and activist organisation, Momentum, Best For Britain, The Tactical vote, Campaign Together, More Unite etc etc will prime a thousand of volunteers to home in on social media. There is over 120 unpredictably volatile seat in England alone.

This is the overriding reason, Boris Johnson is running around like a headless chicken.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

how long before he puts his foot in his mouth !!!!

If only he could keep it there, the world would heave sigh of relief. The 24/7 news cycle of Trump and his faux presidency reminding us that we are all sailing on a rudderless "Ship of Fools" into the maelstrom with a demented "Captain Ahab" does no favors for our mental health.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

NATO starting to seem like a bit of an anachronism.  Hence all of their failed or destructive actions over the last decade or so.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

Trump and Brexit are expressions of the same.... the gradual resistance by the populations against the globalist agenda.

So by definition, it is impossible for Trump to "stay clear" of the election. His visit will be used by the globalist establishment as well by the populist resistance.

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

Wakarimasen:

NATO starting to seem like a bit of an anachronism. Hence all of their failed or destructive actions over the last decade or so.

Understatement of the day?

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

If Trump is endorsing a candidate you can be sure HE IS A CROOK.

What is Corbyn if not someone who hasn't successfully become a crook yet?

Read 'Animal Farm' kids.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

Go Trump! Go Boris!

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Go Trump! Go Boris!

Yes please.

Go.

Far away.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

Boris has declared him PNG as far as public appearances together go. Most British find him every bit as loathsome as do his own countrymen.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

What is Corbyn if not someone who hasn't successfully become a crook yet?

Uh, anyone who hasn't committed a crime is someone who hasn't successfully become a criminal.

Read 'Animal Farm' kids.

George Orwell was a socialist.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Sounds like a threat. After the Brits tried meddling and commenting constantly in our elections, Christopher Steele and all the bashing they’ve done throughout the years from Reagan to Bush....anyway, if I were the President, I would just chuckle at that, if they don’t like it...oh, well....

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Yes, "Orwell" was a socialist, though he scathed his contemporary "socialists" ,

“To the ordinary working man, the sort you would meet in any pub on Saturday night, Socialism does not mean much more than better wages and shorter hours and nobody bossing you about.”

https://www.forbes.com/sites/timreuter/2018/05/24/why-socialists-are-despised-as-explained-by-george-orwell/#521141551b00

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

After the Brits tried meddling and commenting constantly in our elections, 

Quick. Who was the last prime minister to publicly endorse an American presidential candidate?

3 ( +5 / -2 )

“To the ordinary working man, the sort you would meet in any pub on Saturday night, Socialism does not mean much more than better wages and shorter hours and nobody bossing you about.”

Yeah, most working class people are too tired after working to be engaged in politics in all of their time off. Even Lenin recognised this. This isn't new and it's not an indictment of socialism.

Orwell was a socialist. Deal with it.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

What is Corbyn if not someone who hasn't successfully become a crook yet?

Read 'Animal Farm' kids.

I have read it. I don’t remember it being about crooks who haven’t yet fulfilled their potential.

Is it about globalism too?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Sneezy, that was a quote of Orwell from "The Road to Wigan Pier".

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Jimizo, please describe the main antagonist of "Animal Farm", Napoleon.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Trump: I'm so pleased to be here in London....it is London, right? Melania and I are looking forward to seeing the beautiful sights, like the Eiffel Tower... I always tell everyone, it's so enjoyable visiting Asia....

I hear you have an election coming up - really, why do we need elections? I mean, once you've found a Stable Genius, don't you think that person should just stay forever, you know, like the Queen?

Speaking of he Queen, who does her makeup - it looks fabulous...

And Andrew and I need to talk about our best buddy, Epstein...

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I see less Animal Farm and more Animal House with this lot.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

There have zero British political leaders of all parties who have ever meddled in American elections.

Trump isn't the only one. Obama meddled with the Brexit.

Trump and the other NATO leaders will have a dinner with the queen at Buckingham Palace. Where will Trump be seated this time out?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Trump isn't the only one. Obama meddled with the Brexit.

Very true.

All US Presidents should keep out of other countries and their elections.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Quick. Who was the last prime minister to publicly endorse an American presidential candidate?

Quick: Christopher Steele’s role was.....

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

https://www.irishcentral.com/opinion/niallodowd/when-the-british-interfered-in-a-us-presidential-election

The British certainly did seek to interfere in the 1992 election, which saw Bill Clinton land the White House despite the best efforts of the British. Lucky for Northern Ireland, Clinton never forgot the insult and he was far more even-handed in his Irish policy as a result.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

The British certainly did seek to interfere in the 1992 election

A mere 27 years ago. Disgraceful, but it doesn't justify attempts today to interfere in British elections.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Quick: Christopher Steele’s role was.....

Not Prime Minister.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

https://www.irishcentral.com/opinion/niallodowd/when-the-british-interfered-in-a-us-presidential-election

Oh, just an opinion piece. Lame. Try getting a fact-based article next time.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

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