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Mon, 6 April 2020

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Donald Trump was 'apoplectic' on phone call with Boris Johnson after Huawei decision

Donald Trump was 'apoplectic' on phone call with Boris Johnson after Huawei decision
2 min read

Donald Trump was "apoplectic" with rage on a phone call with Boris Johnson after the Government gave Huawei the green light to help build its new 5G network, it has emerged.


According to the Financial Times, the US president made clear to the Prime Minister his anger about the decision, which was taken despite American warnings about the firm's alleged links to the Chinese state.

Ministers confirmed last month that Huawei will have a "non-core" role in the development of the new high-speed internet network.

That sparked a furious backlash from both the US administration and Conservative MPs, who claimed the company was a security risk.

Downing Street's official version of the Trump-Johnson phone call made no mention of the row.

In a statement issued afterwards, a Number 10 spokesperson said: "The Prime Minister spoke to President Trump this afternoon and updated him on the outcome of the UK’s telecoms supply chain review.

"The Prime Minister underlined the importance of like-minded countries working together to diversify the market and break the dominance of a small number of companies."

But the Financial Times reports that the call was "very difficult", with President Trump making his anger clear in no uncertain terms.

Speaking as he arrived in the UK in the immediate aftermath of the decision, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said: ""Our view of Huawei has been that putting it in your system creates real risk.

"This is an extension of the Chinese Communist Party with a legal requirement to hand over information to the Chinese Communist Party."

Thomas Wright, an expert on US-Europe relations at the Brookings Institution, said President Trump had taken "personal affront" at Mr Johnson’s decision to ignore US warnings.

"To me the significance of the phone call is that it shows that Trump is very engaged and very upset and that this is not going to blow over and it will have implications if not on Five Eyes then on trade talks," he said.

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