President Obama has a "Dear Friends" op-ed in the Telegraph Friday in which he makes his case that Britain should remain in the European Union. After stressing the long-held ties between the US and the UK—"the tens of thousands of Americans who rest in Europe’s cemeteries are a silent testament to just how intertwined our prosperity and security truly are"—Obama writes that "now is a time for friends and allies to stick together." One person clearly not on board is London Mayor Boris Johnson, who wrote a blistering response in the Sun newspaper. He says he admires the US and has "respect" for Obama, but thinks the White House view is off base.
"It is incoherent. It is inconsistent, and yes it is downright hypocritical," writes the mayor. "The Americans would never contemplate anything like the EU, for themselves or for their neighbors in their own hemisphere. Why should they think it right for us?" In revving up his argument, Johnson also complains that a bust of Winston Churchill displayed in the Oval Office for nearly 10 years was removed from its perch "on day one of the Obama administration" and given back to the British embassy in Washington. He writes that it's unclear whether Obama was to blame but adds, "Some said it was a symbol of the part-Kenyan President’s ancestral dislike of the British empire." (The Washington Post in 2015 dug into the "complicated story" of the bust.) See Obama's full op-ed here, and Johnson's here. (Read more Boris Johnson stories.)