‘Emotional’ David Cameron meets Donald Trump as he urges US Republicans to unblock Ukraine aid

Britain’s foreign secretary stops for private dinner at Trump’s Florida resort en route to Washington

Britain’s foreign secretary Lord David Cameron said he hadn’t come to the US to “lecture” anybody, as he met the former and would-be-next US president Donald Trump as part of a lobbying campaign to press Republicans to unlock an aid package for Ukraine.

Mr Cameron met Mr Trump for a private dinner in his Mar-a-Lago resort on Monday night US time, in advance of a round of meetings planned for Tuesday afternoon with Washington lawmakers. He was expected to urge Republican members of Congress to stop blocking a $95 billion (€87.5 billion) aid package for Ukraine that has become bogged down in the House of Representatives.

On Tuesday morning, he also met Antony Blinken, the US secretary of state, to discuss a range of issues including Ukraine, China, the war in Gaza and US-UK defence co-operation via Nato and the so-called Aukus security alliance that is focused on the Pacific region and also includes Australia.

At a press conference in Washington following his meeting with Mr Blinken, Mr Cameron blushed and smiled when he was asked if he still considered Mr Trump to be “xenophobic and misogynistic”, attributes that he had ascribed to the former US president in the past. The last time the foreign secretary came to the US urging more support for Ukraine, a prominent Trump supporter in the US Congress, Marjorie Taylor-Greene, told him to “kiss my ass”.


Mr Cameron said he “loves” the US and that he believed it was in its security interests to send more weaponry and cash to Ukraine to bolster its defence in the war with Russia. He said he sometimes uses “emotional” language because he is “just so passionate” about the need to support Ukraine.

He said he believed that with the right support from its western allies, Ukraine could still win the war against Russia, a subtle contrast with the more cautious language on the issue recently from UK prime minister Rishi Sunak, who said on Monday it was important to “deny Russia a victory”.

“I come here with no intention to lecture anybody or tell anybody what to do or get in the way of the process of politics and other things in the US. I just come here as a great friend and believer in this country and a believer that it’s profoundly in your interest and your security and your future and the future of all your partners to release this money and let it through,” said the UK foreign secretary.

He also defended his decision to meet Mr Trump, saying it was “entirely proper” and in line with diplomatic precedent in meeting opposition politicians. He said Mr Blinken had recently met the Labour leader Keir Starmer, while he as prime minister had met Mitt Romney during his unsuccessful campaign to challenge Barack Obama for the US presidency.

He and Mr Blinken also discussed the need to get more supplies to the people of Gaza, he said, as he urged Israel to allow up to 500 aid trucks per day into the embattled Strip.

Mark Paul

Mark Paul

Mark Paul is London Correspondent for The Irish Times