He added, speaking of Europe’s Brexit negotiator: “We have wrapped a suicide vest around the British Constitution — and handed the detonator to Michel Bernier.”
That proved irksome to more people than just the prime minister.
“This marks one of the most disgusting moments in modern British politics,” Sir Alan Duncan, a Conservative member of Parliament and a minister in the Foreign Office, wrote on Twitter.
Dominic Grieve, a Tory moderate, said that the remark was “entirely in character: crude but, for some, entertaining populist polemic.”
Basking in the Washington audience’s admiration of his erudition, discussion of history and robust lack of self-consciousness, Mr. Johnson did not seem particularly bothered by this, or much of anything, on Thursday. But asked about his political aspirations in a brief conversation with The New York Times, he looked fake-pained at the presence of a reporter’s notebook.
“Put that away,” he said, running his fingers through his hair, still shockingly blond and still emitting the appearance of having been dropped onto his head with no coherent plan for what to do when it got there.
Asked if his remarks about Russia, which he had just denounced from the stage as a regime that cannot be trusted, carried an implicit criticism of Mr. Trump, he said that on the contrary, they absolutely did not.
“No, no, don’t write that,” he said. “I don’t want to make him angry.”
For all the people who are angry at him back home, there are also those who think he is wonderful. His remarks about the burqas, for example, prompted a round of let-Boris-tell-the-truth letters in the pro-Boris Daily Telegraph.