The United Kingdom’s new Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson grew up around the Northern Territory in Australia during the 1970s, and according to a new biography that’s going to be released this month, Mr. Johnson spent the majority of one of his first meetings with President Trump fielding questions about kangaroos.
Johnson and Mr. Trump met back in April, at a speed roundtable event to discuss counterterrorism.
While a pre-photo opportunity was arranged for Mr. Trump to ask the British Foreign Secretary a few questions, during the second question-and-answer period Mr. Johnson—the son of the Telegraph’s Asia editor—received a call from one of the American president’s attorneys, telling Mr. Johnson that Mr. Trump was on the phone.
That’s when Mr. Johnson, a magazine writer before he entered politics, decided to ask Mr. Trump what he knew about the size of Australia’s kangaroos.
“As you know, kangaroos are often big,” Mr. Johnson said, referring to the book detailing his years in the Australian bush. “Donald, will you confirm that these kangaroos are pretty tough guys?”
That’s when the president became agitated and “played with himself” trying to be funny, according to White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who accompanied the president to the gathering.
When Mr. Johnson went to shake Mr. Trump’s hand, however, Mr. Trump withdrew his hand from Mr. Johnson’s and shooed away any other White House photographer, according to the book by journalist and political commentator Sebastian Payne.
“Who’s that who?” Mr. Trump yelled. “Look, do you want to keep going? No, please just go. We’ve got to go because I’m speaking to somebody.”
The book, Mr. Payne’s “Pallbearer: Boris Johnson and the Story of the British Conservatives,” chronicles Johnson’s role in leading the Liberal Democrats from 1992 to 2010. Mr. Payne told Fox News that the exact episode described in the book occurred.
“It was just too much for him,” Mr. Payne said of Mr. Trump’s conduct. “He didn’t like it. And really, he was in a good mood, the president, and that was what was going on.”
During the encounter, Mr. Trump pushed aside all other journalists in the room as Mr. Johnson and his wife, Pippa Middleton, made a joke that “corporations were able to shoot kangaroos on that lands,” which was then translated into the president saying, “Get away from that, man,” according to Mr. Payne.
Mr. Trump and Mr. Johnson, who served together as Oxford University students in the 1970s, are close friends and Mr. Trump considers him to be one of his closest friends. During an event at the British Embassy in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday, Mr. Trump said of his own friendship with the British politician, “He’s a great guy, we get along great.”