The United States and Britain remain committed to reaching a post-Brexit bilateral free trade agreement, the White House said Tuesday, after President Donald Trump questioned whether such a deal is possible.
Last week, Trump warned Prime Minister Boris Johnson that the terms of his EU divorce deal meant that "under certain aspect… you can't trade" with the United States.
Trump used a lengthy appearance on Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage's radio phone-in show Thursday to share his characteristically blunt views ahead of a December 12 snap election in Britain.
Trump's remarks threatened to hurt Johnson at the outset of a campaign that has huge implications for Britain's future place in Europe and the rest of the world.
Both Trump and Farage are deeply polarizing figures in Britain who could hurt Johnson's chances with more moderate voters.
On Tuesday, Trump and Johnson spoke, the White House said.
"The two leaders again reaffirmed their commitment to strengthening the Special Relationship through a robust bilateral free trade agreement once the United Kingdom leaves the European Union," deputy press secretary Judd Deere said.
Trump also insisted that NATO allies "robustly fund their defenses" — a reflection of his argument that the US bears a disproportionate share of spending within the transatlantic alliance.