- President Donald Trump on Thursday said he was surprised by how “incredible” UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson sounded when the two spoke over the phone.
- The pair this week spoke for the first time since Johnson was hospitalized with the novel coronavirus.
- “It’s like the old Boris,” Trump said. “Tremendous energy, tremendous drive. I was very surprised.”
- Johnson is thought to be preparing to officially return to work as early as next week.
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President Donald Trump says UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson “sounded incredible” when the pair had their first conversation since Johnson was hospitalized and received intensive care for the novel coronavirus.
The US president on Thursday told reporters he was “actually surprised” by how “ready to go” the prime minister seemed when they talked a few days earlier.
“I will tell you, he sounded incredible. I was actually surprised. I thought he’d be like, ‘Oh, Donald, how are you?'” Trump said, using a lethargic voice. “He was ready to go. I am very surprised to tell you this.
“It’s like the old Boris. Tremendous energy, tremendous drive. I was very surprised. Because he called me, almost, pretty close to when he got out of the hospital. I think he’s doing great. I think he’s doing great. He’s so sharp and energetic. Pretty incredible. He’s an incredible guy.
“He’s a friend of ours and a friend of mine and he loves our country. He loves his country a lot. But he loves our country, he respects our country, and they’re lucky to have him over there.”
Johnson is recovering at Chequers, the prime minister’s country house, after spending a week in St. Thomas’ Hospital in London with the COVID-19 virus. The prime minister became so ill that he was moved into intensive care.
Asked about Trump’s remarks and when Johnson would return to work, his spokesperson on Friday said: “He will reach a decision based on advice of his doctors. He was only discharged from hospital less than two weeks ago and had to spend time in intensive care so as you’d expect, he’d want medical advice before returning to work in Number 10.
“I’ll let the president’s words speak for themselves. He has been getting updates and speaking with colleagues.”
The Telegraph newspaper on Friday reported that Johnson planned to return to work as early as Monday.
The UK’s First Secretary of State and Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab is deputizing for him.
Watch: Trump says Johnson had ‘tremendous energy, tremendous drive’
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