As ambassador, Mr. Johnson has experienced to navigate Mr. Trump’s up-and-down relations with British leaders. The president soured on the prime minister at the time, Theresa May, and berated her on trans-Atlantic phone phone calls. His relations with Primary Minister Boris Johnson, a like-minded populist, have been warmer, even though Mr. Johnson has occasionally steered crystal clear of Mr. Trump, who is deeply unpopular in Britain.
A well known Republican donor, Mr. Johnson originally supported Jeb Bush for the Republican nomination in 2016, but he afterwards backed Mr. Trump, introducing him to other figures in the party’s income circles. Enlisting Mr. Johnson as an emissary on behalf of his golfing course was an additional way the president was wanting for help furthering his financial interests.
Further than the legal and ethical purple flags, inquiring for these types of a favor from his host region would set Mr. Johnson in an untenable place as the emissary of the United States.
“It is diplomatic malpractice simply because once you do that, you place by yourself in a compromised place,” mentioned Norman L. Eisen, who served as President Barack Obama’s distinctive counsel for ethics and later on as his ambassador to the Czech Republic. “They can normally say, ‘Remember that time when you made that recommendation.’ No seasoned diplomat would do that.”
For Mr. Johnson, 73, London was a reward in good shape for the billionaire heir to the Johnson & Johnson pharmaceutical fortune. Formally acknowledged as the Courtroom of St. James’s, the assignment is the plum of the diplomatic corps — a person that comes with a palatial home, Winfield Property, and entree to the greatest amounts of British modern society.
Like a lot of political appointees, Mr. Johnson had no diplomatic experience in advance of arriving in London. Affable and effectively linked, he is known generally for the nickname Woody and his ownership of the New York Jets, a perennially battling N.F.L. franchise. His changeover to primary a massive embassy was bumpy.
Mr. Johnson’s throwback style has been criticized as offensive. There have been grievances that he complimented the appearances of female workforce through workers conferences, and right after interviewing a prospect to change Mr. Lukens as deputy main of mission, he requested a colleague no matter whether she was Jewish.