SOT, Mark Toner, Deputy Department Spokesperson (English): "Well look, I mean we are always going to be able to work with the British no matter who is occupying the role of foreign secretary because of our deep abiding special relationship with the United Kingdom. And we congratulate foreign secretary Hammond on his new role and we look forward to engaging with Boris Johnson as the new foreign secretary. This is something frankly that goes beyond a relationship, that goes beyond personalities and it is a absolutely critical moment in certainly England’s history but also in the US and UK relationship. So absolutely we are committed to working productively going forward."
SOT, Journalist (English): "You don’t have any concern because this administration both the president and secretary took a very different line on granted it’s not their country but Mr Johnson led a movement that this administration fundamentally disagreed with and thought was a bad idea."
SOT, Mark Toner, Deputy Department Spokesperson (English): "And all that has been discussed obviously in great detail. But the British people voted and they voted to leave the European Union and now our focus is on the future." *MULTIPLE FRAMES AT SOURCE*
US State Department Deputy Spokesman Mark Toner was dispassionate in his reaction to news that former Mayor of London Boris Johnson had been appointed British foreign secretary by the newly appointed British Prime Minister Teresa May, speaking from Washington DC, Wednesday.
With Johnson’s previous remarks about US President Barack Obama’s heritage lingering in the room, Toner said that despite former Foreign Minister Philip Hammond being replaced by Johnson, the US, ‘are always going to be able to work with the British no matter who is occupying the role of a foreign secretary because of our deep abiding special relationship with the United Kingdom.’ He added that the relationship went beyond personalities.
Johnson’s appointment is expected to raise eyebrows in Washington following his statement that Obama potentially held a grudge against Britain because of his ‘part-Kenyan’ heritage. The comment has since been construed by many critics as racist pigeon-holing. He has also described the US Democratic presidential candidate Hilary Clinton as having "a steely blue stare, like a sadistic nurse in a mental hospital."
As one of the leading Leave campaigners during the Brexit referendum, he also vocally opposed Obama’s pro-EU position, calling the US president “incoherent, inconsistent and downright hypocritical.” Nevertheless Mark Toner said that Britain’s exit from the EU was Britain’s decision and that ‘now our focus is on the future.”
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