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Inside Britain’s Labor Party’s push for a special relationship – even with Trump – POLITICO

This is “an unprecedented situation, there’s no doubt about it,” Starmer laughed on Friday. He insisted: “We will work with whoever is elected… We have a special relationship with the United States that transcends whoever is president.” »

Business and pleasure

For Labor, but especially for Lammy – who went from describing Trump as a “racist KKK and Nazi sympathizer” in 2017 to saying the ex-president is “often misunderstood” – working with the The Trump team is business. Dealing with Democrats is a pleasure.

Lammy has been friends with Barack Obama for two decades and enjoyed a “wonderful” dinner with the ex-president in London in March. US centrists Matt Bennett and Josh Freed, of the Third Way think tank, advised Labor officials on election messaging at a dinner last year. Labour’s campaign slogan, “change”, even recalls Obama’s “hope” in 2008. (One Labor strategist insists there is no connection).

But since January, Lammy has been working to expand his Republican contacts within MAGA. He met with Trump campaign adviser Chris LaCivita; former Trump Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, national security adviser Robert O’Brien and NSA deputy Matt Pottinger; and Republican Congressmen JD Vance, Lindsey Graham, Joe Wilson, Jim Risch, Thom Tillis and Pete Ricketts.

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Clearly, Lammy senses an imbalance – but also an opportunity. Pro-Trump Republicans were furious when current Foreign Secretary and former Prime Minister David Cameron compared withholding Ukrainian aid to appeasement of Hitler. In contrast, Elbridge Colby, seen as a possible Trump security adviser, praised Lammy’s approach on POLITICO’s Power Play podcast.

Starmer’s former political director Claire Ainsley, who now works for the Progressive Policy Institute, a US think tank aligned with the Democrats, said: “I’m sure it’s no secret that there would have a desire – especially in a more uncertain world – to be a Biden presidency, and Starmer in power in the UK, and perhaps (Social Democratic Party Chancellor Olaf) Scholz in Germany.

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