Friday, February 7, 2020

President Trump Explodes at Boris Johnson During Phone Call Over Huawei

Last week, Donald Trump vented “apoplectic” fury at Boris Johnson in a tense phone call over Britain’s decision to allow Huawei a role in its 5G mobile phone networks, according to officials in London and Washington, reports The Financial Times.

A second official confirmed that the Trump-Johnson call was “very difficult." British officials with knowledge of the exchange said they were taken aback by the force of the president’s language towards Johnson.

The White House only provided a short official readout of the call last Tuesday. It said:
 Today, President Donald J Trump spoke with Prime Minister Boris Johnson of the United Kingdom. The two leaders discussed critical regional and bilateral issues, including telecommunications security.
The British prime minister spoke to Trump soon after he announced his decision to allow the Chinese manufacturer to participate in the UK’s next-generation cellular network. Top Trump administration officials had apparently warned Britain not to make the move.

Trump's anti-Huawei posture is likely driven by the anti-Chinese contingent in his administration, including his anti-Chinese trade advisor Peter Navarro, and Trump's discredited mercantilist view that buying product from overseas competitors is a weakness.

And, of course, there is always the neocons who see China as a threat. According to the Times, Mike Pompeo, US secretary of state, was one of the most vocal members of the Trump administration opposed to the Huawei decision by Britain.

Notes Daniel Ikenson:
Based on information that the U.S. public hasn’t seen, the Trump administration has deemed Huawei a national security threat. That may well be the right conclusion, but the U.K., German, and other governments that the administration has been pressuring to purge their networks of Huawei gear, seem unconvinced, and have resisted.
It is difficult to trust the Trump administration in this regard, as it has already demonstrated itself an unreliable arbiter of national security threats. President Trump has made a frivolity of the national security rationale for restricting trade. Last year, Trump invoked threats to national security to justify his tariffs on steel and aluminum imports. This year he concluded that U.S. security is threatened by imports of automobiles and auto parts. In those cases, the data and analyses “supporting” the national security threat conclusion were not classified, but publicly available. And you can count on your fingers and toes the number of people convinced that steel, aluminum, and auto imports present such threats.


  1. It warms my heart to see foreign states stand up to the US federal government.

  2. We should let our ChiCom overlords control all our networks as long as we save a couple bucks. They would never do anything nefarious.

  3. What'll happen when the States have NO more friends? Oh, wait, there's always that ***ONE***!