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Trump congratulates Britain's Johnson on his 'great win'

Image: Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson greets President Donald Trump
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson greets President Donald Trump at the NATO meeting in London on Dec. 4. Copyright Christian Hartmann
Copyright Christian Hartmann
By Rachel Elbaum with NBC News World News
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Johnson has promised a quick departure from the European Union, potentially freeing Washington and London to strike a new trade deal.


LONDON — It didn't take President Donald Trump very long to heap praise on British Prime Minister Boris Johnson for his "great" electoral win, and link the victory to hopes for a new U.S.-U.K. trade deal.Trump has long supported Johnson, who opponents often compare to the U.S. president for his populist rhetoric. Thursday's election saw Johnson secure the biggest Parliamentary majority since Margaret Thatcher's win for the Conservative Party in 1987.

The prime minister ran a campaign centered around the slogan "get Brexit done," and the results mean the United Kingdom is all but certain to leave the E.U. on Jan. 31. Trump has long been a supporter of Britain's departure from the 28-member bloc, which could leave it free to strike a new trade deal with the U.S.Earlier in the evening on Thursday, Trump tweeted that it was "looking like a big win for Boris in the U.K.!"Prior to the election, Trump made no secret of his support for the Conservative Party leader."I think Boris is very capable and will do a good job," he said last week during his visit to London for NATO's 70th anniversary.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson greets President Donald Trump at the NATO meeting in London on Dec. 4.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson greets President Donald Trump at the NATO meeting in London on Dec. 4.Christian Hartmann

In an interview with Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage just after the election was called, Trump said the opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn"would be so bad for your country." He also called Johnson a "fantastic" man.However, the U.S. president is a divisive figure in the U.K., where just 18 percent of Brits have a positive opinion of him, according to the pollster YouGov. Last week, Johnson notably avoided a one-on-one meeting with the president when he was in London.The opposition tried to use Trump's backing of Johnson to drum up support, accusing the prime minister of negotiating a trade deal with the White House that would put Britain's public health system at risk.Trump however, wasn't the only U.S. politician to comment on the election in Britain.Democratic hopeful Joe Biden seemed to try and draw lessons from the left-wing Labour Party's loss for his upcoming party primary.The once center-left opposition party make a sharp turn in 2015 when it appointed Corbyn, a lifelong socialist, as its leader. The party has called for major reforms to the economy, including the nationalization of the rail, water and broadband industries."Boris Johnson is winning in a walk," Biden said, according to reports from reporters at the event."Look what happens when the Labour Party moves so, so far to the left. It comes up with ideas that are not able to be contained within a rational basis quickly," he reportedly said, in a prediction of the headlines to follow the vote.He also likened Johnson's mainstream popularity to Trump's appeal to U.S. voters."You're also going to see people saying, my god, Boris Johnson, who is kind of a physical and emotional clone of the president, is able to win," Biden said.His Democratic primary opponent Bernie Sanders has in the past voiced support for Corbyn. After the Labour Party's loss in the 2017 election, Sanders congratulated Corbyn for "running a very effective campaign," when it secured a better result than polls had predicted.Sanders supporter Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez also seemed to voice support for the Labour Party on Thursday when she shared a party election video that linked Johnson's Conservative Party's policies to social inequality.

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