Boris Johnson rebukes CNN talking point that American democracy is dying: ‘Grossly exaggerated’
United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson rebuked CNN’s Jake Tapper on Sunday’s “State of the Union” after the anchor pushed him to agree that American democracy is on “life support.”
During an interview centered around the G7 summit, Tapper referenced former President Donald Trump’s unfounded stolen 2020 election claims and the ensuing Jan. 6 Capitol riot.
“When I talk to friends in Canada, the U.K., Australia and elsewhere, people express concern about the United States in terms of our ability and our institutions to thrive and continue after what happened with the election of 2020. They worry that democracy is on life support in the United States,” Tapper said.
He then asked Johnson if he was worried about the state of American democracy.
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In this image provided by the Ukrainian Presidential Press Office, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, left, and Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson, shake hands during their walk in downtown Kyiv, Ukraine, Saturday, April 9, 2022.
(Ukrainian Presidential Press Office via AP, File)
“Noooo,” Johnson replied, cutting Tapper off mid-question. “I want to say to the people of the United States, I’m not. Let’s get back to what I’ve been trying to say to you throughout this interview. I think that reports of the death of democracy in the United States are grossly, grossly exaggerated.”
Johnson went on to describe America as a “shining city on a hill” and “the greatest global guarantor” of democracy and freedom. The U.K. leader also briefly alluded to the 2020 election, which Tapper again pressed him on.
“I think that the mere fact that Joe Biden has stepped up to the plate in the way that he has shows that the instincts of America are still very much in the right place,” Johnson continued. “Yeah, there were some weird and kind of unattractive scenes back in the–“
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In this photo issued by UK Parliament, Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks during Prime Minister’s Questions in the House of Commons, London, Wednesday, May 18, 2022.
(Jessica Taylor/UK Parliament via AP)
“People died,” Tapper said. “It was pretty serious.”
“It was pretty weird,” Johnson replied.
“It’s worse than weird, I mean–” Tapper chimed in.
“It was pretty weird,” Johnson reiterated. “Looking from the outside it was pretty weird. But I don’t believe that American democracy is under serious threat. Far from it.”
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Jake Tapper of CNN’s The Lead with Jake Tapper speaks onstage during the WarnerMedia Upfront 2019 show at The Theater at Madison Square Garden on May 15, 2019 in New York City.
( (Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for WarnerMedia))
Just after the Capitol riot in 2021, Johnson quickly reacted to the situation on Twitter, calling it a “disgraceful scene” and added it was vital for there to be a “peaceful and orderly” transfer of power.
Just weeks ago, Johnson survived a no-confidence vote that could have resulted in him being ousted from office.
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