Cameron, on U.S. Trip, Takes a Risk and Meets With Trump

When Britain’s foreign secretary, David Cameron, went to Washington on Tuesday, he made all the usual stops, from the State Department to Capitol Hill. But it was his pilgrimage to Palm Beach, Fla., where he met former President Donald J. Trump for dinner on Monday evening at Mar-a-Lago, that grabbed most of the attention.

Mr. Cameron is the first top British government official to meet with Mr. Trump since he left the White House. His visit — ostensibly to cajole Mr. Trump into backing additional American military aid to Ukraine — attests to Mr. Trump’s influence over a far-right faction of House Republicans who have been holding up a vote.

It also underscores how the electoral calendar is affecting political dynamics on both sides of the Atlantic. Mr. Cameron, a onetime prime minister, has emerged as almost a shadow British leader abroad, standing in for Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, who is busy with a looming general election at home.

In traveling to meet Mr. Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, Mr. Cameron was reaching out to a once, and potentially future, American president — one whose jaundiced views on Ukraine are seen as the biggest hurdle to the continuation of much-needed American aid for the Ukrainian military.

“We had a good meeting,” Mr. Cameron said of Mr. Trump, while standing alongside Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken after their own session at the State Department on Tuesday. “It was a private meeting.”

At his news conference with Mr. Blinken, Mr. Cameron, left, acknowledged that he viewed his visits to Capitol Hill with “great trepidation,” noting that, “It’s not for foreign politicians to tell legislators in another country what to do.”Credit…Kevin Wolf/Associated Press
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