London mayor compared to Donald Trump for 'racist' comments on Obama's heritage
Mayor Boris Johnson wrote that the U.S. president has an 'ancestral dislike of the British Empire'
London Mayor Boris Johnson has accused U.S. President Barack Obama of being anti-British because of his "part-Kenyan" background, a remark that has people comparing the mayor with Donald Trump.
He further added that he believes the president has an "ancestral dislike of the British Empire."
Johnson wrote the comments in a Sun newspaper column meant to bolster support for Britain leaving the European Union. It was also meant to counteract statements by Obama that Britain would be disadvantaged if it exited the EU.
These comments were based in part on false reports that Obama had removed a bust of Winston Churchill from the White House.
The White House clarified in 2012 that there were two busts of Churchill, one of which had been loaned by former president George W. Bush in 2001. The item was due to be returned in January 2009.
"The bust that was returned was returned as a matter of course with all the other artwork that had been loaned to President Bush for display in his Oval Office and not something that President Obama or his administration chose to do," wrote Dan Pfeiffer, a former assistant to the president.
Republican presidential hopeful Ted Cruz made the same claim about the return of the bust in 2015, reported the Washington Post, as did many in the U.K. media in 2009.
Obama denied that his ancestral background had anything to do with his opinion of the U.K. in a 2009 interview with Sky News.
"The notion that I would somehow make judgments about countries based on what happened 100 years ago is not something that would make much sense," the president said.
The Labour Party's shadow chancellor John McDonnell wrote on Twitter that Johnson's comments were an example of "dog whistle racism."
Mask slips again. Boris part-Kenyan Obama comment is yet another example of dog whistle racism from senior Tories. He should withdraw it.—@johnmcdonnellMP
Given Johnson's popularity within the U.K. Conservative Party, people online began making comparisons between him and presidential hopeful Donald Trump.
Slowly, but surely, Boris Johnson has begun morphing into Donald Trump. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/BoraldTrumpson?src=hash">#BoraldTrumpson</a> <a href="https://t.co/2ibEPCP4WO">pic.twitter.com/2ibEPCP4WO</a>—@LauraTisdall
fast becoming the UK's version of trump.<br>Boris Johnson’s attack on Barack Obama belongs in the gutter <a href="https://t.co/K3p5qY2wRU">https://t.co/K3p5qY2wRU</a>—@THEDON1960
Boris Johnson is the UK's Donald Trump, a calculated racist masquerading as a court-jester for those of low-intelligence. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/borisjohnson?src=hash">#borisjohnson</a>—@ROBINMATTO
Appalling article by <a href="https://twitter.com/BorisJohnson">@BorisJohnson</a> in Sun totally wrong on almost everything. Inconceivable WSC wld not have welcomed Presidents views—@nsoamesmp
There's also concern that Johnson might be a successor to current Prime Minister David Cameron as party leader.
Brits: mock USA because of Trump<br>Brits: far more likely to be led by this guy than we are by Trump.<a href="https://t.co/lPfRpUQEAI">https://t.co/lPfRpUQEAI</a>—@hollyamory
US-born Boris Johnson, with a Turkish great-grandfather, suggesting "part-Kenyan" Obama may have "ancestral dislike" of UK.<br><br>Brass. Balls.—@GeordieStory
The part Turkish part French Boris Johnson welcomes the part Kenyan Obama to the part English United Kingdom. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/borisjohnson?src=hash">#borisjohnson</a>—@crowmogh
Another comparison was with Nigel Farage, the leader of the U.K. Independence Party.
After 8 years posing as a liberal pro-immigration politician, Boris increasingly resembling a cut-price Nigel Farage <a href="https://t.co/GMATyxWWdW">https://t.co/GMATyxWWdW</a>—@AdamBienkov
Nigel Farage, in his natural habitat: "something is going on" (Kenyan family background) in way Obama views UK <a href="https://t.co/0YoiOwHy4p">pic.twitter.com/0YoiOwHy4p</a>—@BenQuinn75