Minister Defends UK Ties With US After Donald Trump Is Impeached For A Second Time
Boris Johnson was yesterday forced to defend his previous support of the US president (PA)
President Donald Trump has become the first US leader in history to be impeached by the House of Representatives twice after “inciting” the deadly Capitol Hill riots.
The incumbent president, who lost the November 2020 election to President-elect Joe Biden, was accused of encouraging last week’s violence in Washington DC, where his supporters stormed the Capitol Building, with unsubstantiated claims of election fraud.
Ministers have defended the UK’s close relationship with the US despite this historic intervention, with Minister for Safeguarding Victoria Atkins saying the UK should “always strive to have good, strong, healthy relations” with the US.
“Well first of all, clearly the violence we saw last week was absolutely appalling, and the prime minister and home secretary have been absolutely clear about that,” she told Sky News.
“It was an attack on the very heart of democracy in America,and they were terrible sights to see.
“In terms of our relations with America, we must always strive to have good, strong, healthy relations with America. They're our strongest ally. We share so many commonalities whether it's Western democratic values.
Trump's first impeachment took place in 2019, when he was charged over calls with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in which he appeared to pressure the leader to investigate his political rivals.
Mr Trump will now face a trial in the Senate to decide if his actions on 6 January constituted the charge of inciting an insurrection.
But it is unlikely that the Republican president will face trial before Mr Biden is sworn in on 20 January, with the Senate’s majority leader Mitch McConnell stating that there will not be enough time for a "fair or serious trial".
On Wednesday, prime minister Boris Johnson was forced to defend his past support of Donald Trump, including comments in 2018 where he suggested the US leader should win the Nobel Peace Prize for his involvement in the Iran nuclear deal, which Trump subsequently pulled the US out of.
Appearing before the liaison committee prior to Mr Trump’s impeachment, Mr Johnson was asked by petitions committee chair Catherine McKinnell if he regretted the comments.
"I'm in favour of the prime minister of the UK having the best possible relationship with the president of the United States and I had an excellent conversation very recently with President-elect Joe Biden,” he responded.