- The Washington Times - Thursday, July 14, 2016

The White House said Thursday President Obama is committed to working with Britain’s new leaders, despite new British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson having criticized the president last spring as “part-Kenyan.”

White House press secretary Josh Earnest said Mr. Obama, who phoned congratulations Thursday to new Prime Minister Theresa May, intends to maintain America’s “special relationship” with the United Kingdom.

“We’ll pursue it irrespective of specific personalities,” he said.

Asked specifically about Ms. May’s selection of Mr. Johnson as foreign secretary, Mr. Earnest replied, “Whomever they choose, it’s up to them.”

Mr. Johnson criticized the president in April, saying Mr. Obama’s “ancestral dislike of the British Empire” might explain the president’s attempted meddling in Britain’s referendum on leaving the European Union and his removal of a bust of Winston Churchill from the Oval Office. The president said he moved the bust to a place of prominence in the White House residence instead.

Ms. May took the top post Wednesday after the resignation of David Cameron in the wake of Britain’s vote to leave the European Union.

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