Head of Joe Biden’s transition team Ted Kaufman says he is willing to ‘bet a beer’ England will be the first place the next US President visits and insists the new White House will not hold a ‘grudge’ against Boris Johnson
- Ex-US senator Ted Kaufman is leading Joe Biden’s White House transition team
- He said he is willing to ‘bet a beer’ England will be Mr Biden’s first foreign visit
- Mr Kaufman also insisted Mr Biden will not hold a ‘grudge’ against Boris Johnson
Ted Kaufman, a former US senator, is the head of Joe Biden’s White House transition team
The head of Joe Biden’s White House transition team today said he is willing to ‘bet a beer’ the first foreign country the next US President will visit will be England.
Ted Kaufman, a long-standing ally of Mr Biden, also insisted the President-elect will not hold a ‘grudge’ against Boris Johnson because of his alliance with Donald Trump.
Mr Kaufman claimed his boss ‘doesn’t understand the whole grudge concept’ as he said it was a ‘very smart move’ for Mr Johnson to speak to Mr Biden so swiftly after the election result was called.
The former US senator said Mr Biden ‘really cares about’ the UK and will ‘want to establish close ties’.
Sources on Mr Biden’s campaign team had questioned whether Mr Johnson was an ‘ally’ because of his warm relationship with Mr Trump.
There was also speculation the pair would not get along because of Mr Johnson’s past criticism of Barack Obama, who Mr Biden served as vice president.
There has been speculation that Boris Johnson and Mr Biden may not get along given the former’s close relationship with Donald Trump
But Mr Kaufman, who has been tipped as the next potential US ambassador to the UK, insisted this morning that Mr Biden ‘will be a president who does not hold grudges’.
He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: ‘He just doesn’t understand the whole grudge concept. I am telling you, it bothers me sometimes because I think sometimes you should have a grudge against certain people.
‘But he just doesn’t understand that at all. Boris Johnson called him up early to congratulate him when other world leaders were concerned that Trump wasn’t out for sure and all the rest of that.
‘I think that was a very smart move on Boris Johnson’s part. But he will be a president who does not hold grudges so that won’t be a problem.
‘I think England is a country, the UK is a country, that he really cares about and feels that it is really important and he is going to want to establish close ties with England.
‘You can absolutely go to the bank. That is what he is going to do.’
Mr Kaufman has family in the UK and when asked if he would be interested in becoming ambassador he said it is ‘way too soon to be talking about that’.
There has been fierce speculation over when Mr Biden could visit the UK with reports suggesting he could head to Ireland first because of his ancestral links to the country.
But Mr Kaufman insisted Mr Biden ‘will be a president who does not hold grudges so that won’t be a problem’
But Mr Kaufman told Radio 4 presenter Nick Robinson that he believes Mr Biden’s first foreign trip will be to the UK.
He said: ‘Oh no, don’t worry, Joe will come to the UK too. Joe will come to the UK. He loves Ireland, he is from Ireland and the rest of that.
‘But Nick, we can a bet a beer somewhere that the first place he comes will be to England.’
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