Donald Trump asked Theresa May why Boris Johnson was not PM in first meeting, book says

Boris Johnson was Foreign Secretary at the time of the meeting

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Donald Trump reportedly asked Theresa May: "Why isn’t Boris Johnson the prime minister? Didn’t he want the job?" in his first White House meeting with a major foreign leader, according to a new book.

At the time, Mr Johnson was Foreign Secretary, but would go on to take the top role in the UK Government two years later after May was forced to resign.

Mrs May's response to Mr Trump's question is not recorded in the new book, Confidence Man: The Making of Donald Trump and the Breaking of America, written by Maggie Haberman.

Mrs May's trip to the White House was seen as an important diplomatic moment for both nations as the UK Government looked to maximise the opportunities of Brexit, which the British public had voted for a year prior.

Theresa May's trip to the White House was seen as a diplomatic success for Britain.
Theresa May's trip to the White House was seen as a diplomatic success for Britain.
Donald Trump spoke to Theresa May about the then UK foreign secretary, Boris Johnson.
Donald Trump spoke to Theresa May about the then UK foreign secretary, Boris Johnson.

Ms Haberman refers to "extensive notes" from the discussion between Mrs May and Mr Trump, but states the Prime Minister struggled in getting the US President to "focus" during a round of talks, a feat that was described as "impossible".

The newly appointed president made reference to the crowds present for his inauguration and the size of the White House as he boasted about his new-found status.

Mr Trump also brought up an "unprompted" discussion on abortion, a contentious issue in the US, according to the book.

He told Mrs May: "Abortion is such a tough issue.

"Some people are pro-life, some people are pro-choice. Imagine if some animals with tattoos raped your daughter and she got pregnant?"

Mr Trump is said to have proceeded to point to his vice-president Mike Pence, telling the Prime Minister: "He’s the really tough one on abortion" before asking whether Mrs May is "pro-life".

Mrs May's response is not included in the account.

Mr Trump, according to Ms Haberman, asked Mrs May about having a "team of rivals," the title of a famous book about Abraham Lincoln's cabinet.

In the Oval Office, Mrs May is said to have pivoted the conversation to Russia, Vladimir Putin and potential sanctions.

Mr Trump, after being told by aides that he was due to speak to the Russian President the next day, complained that he had yet to speak to him.

He uttered: "I need to talk to this guy … this isn’t the Congo," according to the book.