President Trump reportedly had a heated conversation with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson last week after the United Kingdom allowed the Chinese tech manufacturer Huawei to have a role in the U.K.’s 5G cellphone networks.
Sources in both London and Washington described the phone call between the two world leaders as “apoplectic” to the Financial Times.
The Trump administration has long opposed Huawei having any stake in next-generation cellular networks because of national security concerns.
Still, British officials with knowledge of the call told the publication that they were surprised by the ferocity of Trump’s language.
The White House and Downing Street both declined comment to the FT, with the White House only providing a blanket release about last Tuesday’s call that read: “Today, President Donald J Trump spoke with Prime Minister Boris Johnson of the United Kingdom. The two leaders discussed critical regional and bilateral issues, including telecommunications security.”
Since the call, the two sides have agreed to limit the use of Huawei products in the U.K. Additionally, Attorney General William Barr suggested on Thursday that the U.S. should think about buying controlling stakes in tech companies Ericsson and Nokia to create more international competition.
“It’s all very well to tell our friends and allies they shouldn’t install Huawei’s, but whose infrastructure are they going to install?” Barr said.
The Huawei decision is just one of the policy areas that the two allies have diverged on as of late, including the Iran nuclear deal that Trump pulled out of in 2018.