Boris Johnson to meet Steve Bannon in White House visit

Boris Johnson will meet key White House figures including Donald Trump’s most powerful aide, Steve Bannon, during a trip to the US this week, the Guardian understands.

The foreign secretary is also expected to meet Stephen Miller and Kellyanne Conway as well as Republican congressional leaders, and is likely to see the secretary of state, Rex Tillerson.

The visit, first to Washington DC then New York, comes after of a row over wiretapping claims that threatened to damage relations between the two countries.

Press secretary Sean Spicer claimed last week that Britain’s GCHQ had helped Barack Obama spy on Trump, in comments that triggered a withering response from the former British ambassador to the US Sir Peter Westmacott.

Johnson is also expected to meet the president’s national security adviser, HR McMaster, but sources suggested he was unlikely to raise concerns about the controversy during the sessions.

A government source indicated that Whitehall considered the situation resolved after US figures expressed regret and provided reassurances that it would not be repeated. However, a suggestion that McMaster had apologised for the row have been publicly denied by Spicer.

Johnson is thought to have got on well with Bannon, who has courted controversy through his white nationalist views and hardline stance on the media, in previous meetings. As such he is considered a possible middleman between the British government and the Trump administration. Johnson is not…

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