WATFORD, England — Boris Johnson dismissed suggestions he does not take Donald Trump seriously as “nonsense” after the U.S. president was angered by world leaders appearing to laugh at him.
The U.K. prime minister was filmed Tuesday night in conversation with Justin Trudeau, in which the Canadian prime minister seemed to joke about the U.S. president holding a 50-minute impromptu press conference.
The footage, filmed at a Buckingham Palace reception during the two-day NATO summit in London, showed the pair with French president Emmanuel Macron and Princess Anne, the queen’s daughter.
Johnson was heard to ask Macron: “Is that why you were late?” To which Trudeau chimed in: “He was late because he takes a 40-minute press conference at the top! Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah … You just watched his team’s jaws drop to the floor!”
Trump unexpectedly took questions from reporters for almost an hour Tuesday when he met NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, during which he ripped into Macron and appeared to back Johnson in the ongoing U.K. general election campaign.
Johnson was on Wednesday asked at his own press conference whether he took Trump seriously after appearing to be smirking at the president’s expense. “That is complete nonsense. I don’t know where that has come from,” he said.
In light of the video an angry Trump branded Trudeau “two-faced” at an informal press conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on the sidelines of the summit on Wednesday.
Johnson spent the two-day event avoiding being pictured with the U.S. president, who is deeply unpopular in the U.K., amid suggestions that being seen as close to him could harm support for Johnson at the general election on December 12.