US State Department swerves Cummings’ Trump allegations

·2-min read
<p>Dominic Cummings</p> (PA Wire)

Dominic Cummings

(PA Wire)

The US State Department has swerved allegations that President Donald Trump sent the CIA to “gazump” rivals in procuring PPE during the pandemic.

Boris Johnson’s former chief adviser Dominic Cummings made a series of bombshell allegations during his evidence session to MPs last week.

At one point he claimed President Trump ordered the intelligence service to “gazump” rival countries in procuring Protective Personal Equipment (PPE) in the early days of the pandemic.

The Vote Leave mastermind was describing the scramble for PPE in March when he told MPs: "At this point you had Trump sending the CIA round trying to gazump everybody on PPE. The whole system was just like wading through treacle."

He also made a separate allegation that No10 became distracted from Covid planning after President Trump asked the UK to join airstrikes on Iraq.

A US State Department spokesperson declined to comment on the allegations but stressed that the Biden administration was focused on strengthening its relationship with the UK and “working to address our shared priorities and the many challenges we face together”.

Downing Street declined to comment on the allegations, citing “national security”. The Evening Standard has also contacted the CIA and President Trump for comment.

Former US president Donald Trump (PA Wire)
Former US president Donald Trump (PA Wire)

During his evidence session, Mr Cummings told MPs that Boris Johnson rejected President Trump’s request to take part in airstrikes after an intervention by the UK government’s top legal officer the then Attorney General Suella Braverman.

“Fortunately thank God, the Attorney General persuaded the prime minister not to go ahead,” Mr Cummings added.

It is understood that President Trump wanted to retaliate after two Americans and one Briton were killed in Iraq in a rocket attack the US said was carried out by the Iranian proxy group Kataib Hezbollah.

Defence sources told the Guardian there had been no need for the UK to join the bombing because the US had pressed ahead anyway. “There was lots going on domestically,” they told the paper.

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