World leaders, including close Trump ally Boris Johnson, move on as Trump resists conceding


(WASHINGTON) — While President Donald Trump has yet to accept his election defeat, the United States’ closest allies made clear that they had little doubt about who the next president is as they began to place congratulatory calls to President-elect Joe Biden.

“I’m letting them know that America is back,” Biden said Tuesday when asked what his message has been to the world leaders he has spoken to since his election victory.

So far, the Biden campaign has confirmed that the president-elect has had congratulatory calls with Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, the United Kingdom’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson, French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and Irish Taoiseach Micheál Martin.

In addition to those calls, Biden said Tuesday that he has “a number of other calls to return” and added that he “feel[s] confident that we’re going to be able to put America back in the place of respect that it had before.”

Among the leaders who called Biden, the United Kingdom’s Johnson has been a particularly close personal ally of President Trump’s. The news of his call with Biden was likely to land with a thud at the White House, where President Trump remained behind closed doors without a public event on his calendar for the fifth day in a row as he continues to refuse to concede the race.

The White House did not respond to a request for comment on the news of Biden’s calls with other foreign leaders.

“The President-elect offered his thanks to Prime Minister Johnson for his congratulations and expressed his desire to strengthen the special relationship and re-double cooperation on issues of mutual concern,” the Biden transition said in a readout, noting that they discussed shared priorities in combatting the coronavirus pandemic, climate change, and strengthening democracy.

A Downing Street spokesperson issued a similar statement, saying the two leaders discussed shared interests “in areas such as trade and security – including through NATO,” as well as “tackling climate change, to promoting democracy, and building back better from the coronavirus pandemic.”

Johnson also tweeted his congratulations to both Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris.

While many world leaders have already spoken out in public and on social media to offer their initial congratulations to Biden, Johnson’s call with Biden came after Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Monday became the first known world leader to have actually had a formal congratulatory call.

Trudeau later tweeted a photo from the call, saying that he and Biden have worked together before and that “we’re ready to pick up on that work and tackle the challenges and opportunities facing our two countries – including climate change and COVID-19.”

A spokesman for German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Tuesday that, in her call with Biden, she “expressed her wish for a close and trusting future cooperation. The Chancellor and President-elect agreed that transatlantic cooperation is of great importance in view of the multitude of global challenges,” the spokesman tweeted.

In return, the Biden campaign said that the president-elect “expressed gratitude to Chancellor Merkel for her congratulations, praised her leadership, and noted that he looked forward to strengthening relations between the United States and Germany and revitalizing the trans-Atlantic relationship, including through NATO and the EU.”

The campaign issued similar readouts of Biden’s calls with Macron and the Martin.

In his call with Macron, the Biden campaign said “President-elect thanked President Macron for his congratulations and expressed his desire to strengthen relations between the United States and France, its oldest ally.”

Of his call with Taoiseach Martin, the Biden campaign said Biden “highlighted his desire to strengthen the enduring personal, cultural, and economic ties between the United States and Ireland.”

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

More about: