By Catarina Vicente
During an interview on January 14, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson called the Capitol riots and subsequent impeachment trial of former US President Donald Trump a ‘kerfuffle’.
After a week-long impeachment trial, Trump was acquitted by the US Senate, with prosecutors failing to get the two-thirds majority necessary to convict him.
Trump was accused of inciting the 6th of January Capitol riots, having told his supporters to “fight like hell” shortly before they stormed the US Capitol building.
The attacks were heavily broadcasted on social media and TV and resulted in five deaths and 140 people wounded.
Trump deemed the impeachment trial a “witch hunt”, and Senator Paul Rand earlier put forward a motion which claimed the trial was unconstitutional, though this was voted down.
Boris Johnson condemned the violence in the riots, but when asked to comment on the impeachment trial, dismissed it as “toings and froings and all the kerfuffle”.
He insisted that America’s democracy and its constitution remained “strong and robust”, and said he was looking forward to meeting Biden and fostering a strong connection between the two nations.
The result of the impeachment trial has led some to express concern over what the implications are for the future of American presidency.
Former Democrat Senator Doug Jones said: “if Trump’s actions are not impeachable, then nothing is, and we may as well strike that provision from the constitution”.
Despite the results of the trial, Trump is being sued by Bennie Thompson, the Democrat chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, for conspiracy in inciting the deadly Capitol riot.
Biden’s comments about American democracy contrast with those of Johnson; the newly elected president expressed concerns over the effect of “violence and extremism” on democracy, adding:
“This sad chapter in our history has reminded us that democracy is fragile.”
He has also reportedly called the British PM “the physical and emotional clone of Donald Trump”, due to their similar populist policies and style.
According to Biden’s campaign team, there is residual mistrust towards Boris, although this might change with the two nation’s cooperation towards climate-change related goals.
These comments have not discouraged Boris, who looks forward to working together with the US president: “[what] we’re hearing from the new American administration […] is incredibly encouraging. And we want to work with the president on that.”
The American President and British Prime Minister are set to meet in autumn, at the G7 Summit and COP26 climate change gathering in Glasgow.
twitter Follow @gairrhyddpol for all of the latest updates from the world of politics.