Thus far Trump has made good on his earlier promises to behave differently after winning the election. Like it or not we have to engage with the president of the world’s most important country. It is better for everyone if those engagements are constructive. The UK Government’s decision to avoid public displays of displeasure at the outcome is therefore wise.
President-Elect Donald Trump’s early performances are encouraging, including his meetings with Barack Obama, Mitch McConnell, and Paul Ryan. So far the behaviour and rhetoric that disturbed so many during his campaign has been mercifully absent. The initial signs suggest that he may understand that his new role will require very different, conciliatory, and even presidential behaviour. If so this is to be welcomed.
Theresa May and Donald Trump spoke yesterday. The call was apparently polite, and the two leaders agreed on the importance of the US-UK special relationship and on the need to work together bilaterally. Boris Johnson has called on European leaders to stop their “collective whinge-o-rama” and “focus on the opportunities”. Johnson’s comments during the campaign imply that his personal views on Trump may be similar to Chancellor Angela Merkel’s, but he seeks to make the best of the situation, unlike Merkel, who’s warnings are likely to have aggravated the President-elect without any discernible payoff.
Dr Alan Mendoza, Executive Director of The Henry Jackson Society, said;
“We have a President-elect with a Scottish mother who has praised the relationship between our two countries. Unlike Barack Obama, he clearly feels some affinity with us.
“Theresa May and Boris Johnson have acted sensibly in seizing the opportunity of the Trump Presidency in order to promote the British national interest. Trump’s mature performances thus far in his interactions with Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and Congressional Republicans show that fears about his behaviour in office have been overblown and overhyped.
“The campaign may have been the greatest show on earth for Trump, but he now means business.”