“I would rather follow than lead”: Trump reportedly deferred to the UK on standing up to Putin – Salon

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Meeting notes leaked to the British newspaper The Telegraph paint a fascinating picture of the relationship between the UK and America during the Trump era — and also shed new light on Trump’s relationship with Vladimir Putin.

The leaked documents are contemporaneous notes taken by U.S. officials “during seven meetings and calls involving either the leader or top foreign minister of Britain or America.”

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“Trump pushed back hard on Theresa May’s pleas to expel Russian diplomats after the Skripal poisoning,” the newspaper reported.

“I would rather follow than lead,” the leader of the free world reported said.

The comment has new importance after yet another poisoning has been attributed to Putin. On Friday, Trump was asked about the poisoning of opposition leader Alexei Navalny. However, Trump refused to condemn the attack.

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The meeting notes had a number of additional revelations.

“Boris Johnson privately told US diplomats that Donald Trump was ‘making America great again,’ according to a cache of official notes taken during high-level UK-US meetings whose details have leaked to The Telegraph,” the newspaper reported. “Mr. Johnson’s praise for Mr. Trump in private goes much further than he usually does in public, and is eye-catching given polls consistently show a majority of the British people disapprove of the US president. Its disclosure could see the Prime Minister get dragged into the US election campaign, with the president eager to tout overseas support and Democratic nominee Joe Biden already on-record once calling Mr. Johnson a Trump ‘clone.'”

“The US president wondered why there was so much “hatred” in Northern Ireland and asked Mrs. May during a lunch why Mr. Johnson was not prime minister,” the newspaper reported. “Mr. Johnson built close working relationships with Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law, and adviser Stephen Miller, while forging ties with the Trump inner circle.”

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