As Nets Fret Trump’s ‘Cannonball’ Into UK Politics, ABC and NBC Forget Obama's Meddling

All three morning shows on Monday fretted about Donald Trump’s “cannonball” into British politics during his state visit. But only CBS This Morning remembered that Barack Obama meddled with Brexit back in 2016. While Trump has promoted Boris Johnson for prime minister, Obama actually threatened to send the U.K. to “the back of the [line].” 

Talking to CBS royal correspondent Roya Nikkhah, co-host Tony Dokoupil worried, “President Trump has broken with tradition to weigh in on British politics. How is the public reacting to his cannonball into their affairs?” Unlike on ABC or NBC, Nikkhah reminded, “But it’s always an interesting call with U.S. presidents. Of course, Obama came and made those comments about the U.K. having to think very carefully about leaving the E.U.... And that backfired.”

 

 

On ABC’s Good Morning America, Terry Moran skipped Obama’s interference in Brexit, but complained of Trump: “But the president whose last U.K. visit drew large protests has already stirred controversy ahead of this trip. In an interview with The Sun tabloid, he boldly weighed in on who should succeed outgoing Prime Minister Theresa May.” 

On NBC’s Today, Peter Alexander similarly avoided the parallel of Obama meddling in British affairs. But he said of Trump: 

The President has already inflamed tensions here by weighing in on the fiery debate from the planned departure from the European Union. After criticizing embattled Prime Minister Teresa May during his last visit, now suggesting the pro-Brexit former mayor of London Boris Johnson would be a good candidate to succeed May who leaves officer this week.

While visiting Britain in April of 2016, Obama warned Britain that, should it vote the wrong way, “The UK is going to be in the back of the queue.” ABC ignored the insult at the time and again after Obama’s comments backfired and Brexit passed in June of that year. 

On Sunday, Chuck Todd declared that Trump is “interfering” with British politics. 

Partial transcripts are below. Click "expand" to read more. 

CBS This Morning
6/3/19
7:34

TONY DOKOUPIL: We're taking a look at pictures of some of that pomp and circumstance unfolding, the president an Queen coming out, making their first appearance publicly. One of the questions I have, Boris Johnson may be the new prime minister. President Trump has broken with tradition to weigh in on British politics. How is the public reacting to his cannonball into their affairs? 

ROYA NIKKHAH (CBS royal correspondent): Well, I think we probably won’t get much more of a sense of that until this state visit. Until we are well into it. Probably later today and tomorrow. Let’s see what he says in the speech tonight. But it’s always an interesting call with U.S. presidents. Of course, Obama came and made those comments about the U.K. having to think very carefully about leaving the E.U., which is something that David Cameron asked him to do. And that backfired. So, interventions by U.S. presidents can sometimes have the opposite effect. Of course, it is off script for him to weigh in and say which candidate he would rather be the next prime minister. We know he’s gone for Boris Johnson. That may help or that may hinder Boris Johnson. It remains to be seem.  

Good Morning America
6/3/19
7:03

TERRY MORAN: But the president whose last U.K. visit drew large protests has already stirred controversy ahead of this trip. In an interview with The Sun tabloid, he boldly weighed in on who should succeed outgoing Prime Minister Theresa May. 

DONALD TRUMP: I think Boris would do a very good job. I think he would be excellent. I like him very much. 

MORAN: Trump right there backing former Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson. 

Today
6/3/19
7:04

PETER ALEXANDER: The President has already inflamed tensions here by weighing in on the fiery debate from the planned departure from the European Union. After criticizing embattled Prime Minister Teresa May during his last visit, now suggesting the pro-Brexit former mayor of London Boris Johnson would be a good candidate to succeed May who leaves officer this week.... But given Trump’s unpopularity here, it’s unclear whether that endorsement would help or hurt Boris Johnson’s chances of becoming Britain’s next leader.  

 

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