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The row sparked when the Foreign Secretary said he would not “comment on the commentary”. Asked if it is time to distance himself from Mr Trump and what he said, Mr Raab told the BBC host it is “a very close election” and he is watching “with great interest”. He said he has full faith in the US institutions.”So we’ll watch with interest, but forgive me if I don’t comment on the commentary,” Dominic Raab said.
Asked if it would be good to “call your close friend out”, Mr Raab replied: “Well I think that you’re now engaging in the campaign rather than just reporting on it.
“But the truth is, I think what’s really important now is we wait and see how this uncertainty unfolds.”
Mr Raab said it is clearly a “much closer” election than expected and said the UK will wait for the “definitive result”.
He told the BBC: “It may take days rather than hours, so we’ll just have to be a bit more patient but we’ll be there willing to, and able, and enthusiastic to work with our American friends and partners irrespective of the outcome of the race in effect.”
Mr Raab said he is “very confident” based on conversations he has had with “leading” Democrats that the UK/US relationship is “in great shape and will go to even greater heights in the months and years ahead”.
He added: “I’m very confident that regardless of whether it’s a Republican or a Democrat win the British/US relationship is in great shape.”
As the BBC host asked the Foreign Secretary to comment on Biden’s advisers’ view of Boris Johnson as a “Trumpian figure”, Mr Raab said he was not going to comment on “a pundit’s view on what the pundits say”.
But as Mr Neil hit back claiming he was asking about the views of those who will likely be in the Biden administration, the Foreign Secretary blasted: “Andrew, you don’t know who is going to be in the Biden administration, so there’s one false assumption there.
“All I’m telling you is we have good contacts.
“Of course we’re discreet given the restrictions on talking to people in the Democrats campaign, but as I explained to you, we’re very confident on values, interests and also the links we’ve got that the UK-US relationship will be in good shape.”
With the presidential result still on a knife-edge, Republican incumbent Donald Trump falsely declared victory and said “We want all voting to stop”, despite postal ballots in key swing states still being counted.
Asked on Times Radio about Mr Trump’s comments about “fraud” in the election, Mr Raab said: “I think different countries have different ways that they approach the voting system.
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“I know that there is obviously a heated debate about the balance and the propriety of posted votes versus votes cast in the ballot box in a polling station – I’m just not getting drawn into that.
“We are right in the heated aftermath where both candidates are making statements … if there are any contentious aspects around it, it is for the courts and the electoral college system to decide that.
“I’m not getting sucked in at all into that debate.”
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