US official insists ‘we absolutely trust the UK government’ despite Biden gaffe

Vedant Patel insists UK/ US relations not harmed by Biden’s gaffe

The US State Department appeared to be desperately trying to repair relations with the UK ahead of Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s visit to the White House next month.

A press briefing this week saw independent White House correspondent Ksenija Pavlovic McAteer put the US State Department’s spokesman Vedant Patel on the spot over derogatory comments made earlier this month about Britain by President Biden.

Biden had quipped he had gone to Northern Ireland “to make sure the Brits didn’t screw around” with the Windsor Framework agreed with the EU over the future of the UK province.

Ms Pavlovic McAteer asked: “Has Secretary Blinken spoken to the UK Government to provide reassurance over the President’s recent remarks and can say with confidence that President Biden trusts the UK Government?”

The question appeared to surprise Mr Patel.

He said: “We absolutely trust the UK government.”

However, he defended the US government’s position on Britain by referring to events before President Biden made his gaffe on May 10, including the bilateral meeting in Washington between Foreign Secretary James Cleverly and US secretary of State Antony Blinken.

Mr Patel said: “You saw if you paid attention to the bilateral that Secretary Blinken and Foreign Secretary Cleverly had and the press conference they had together.

“What you saw was two allies, two partners talking collaboratively about the issues that lie ahead whether it be addressing challenges within the confliect in Russia and Ukraine.”

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Turning to the President, he added: “I also note that President Biden in Belfast deeply spoke about the appreciation he had for the UK’s government, specifically Prime Minister Sunak’s leadership in reaching an agreement with the EU on the Windsor Framework and preserving the gains of the Belfast Good Friday Agreement.”

However, critics of the US administration believe that Biden is “anti-British.”

Heritage Foundation President Kevin Roberts told on a trip to London this week that Mr Biden was anti-British because “he has been captured by the radical left” in America.

Mr Roberts told in an interview to be run tomorrow that the Republicans are preparing to repair the Special Relationship with a trade deal.

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