Boris Johnson challenged over 'outright lies' about Obama and Clinton


Boris Johnson has been forced to defend himself over previous comments about Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton as he shared a platform with the US secretary of state John Kerry.

In an occasionally awkward press conference, the Foreign Secretary was challenged by US journalists about "outright lies" he had told and articles he had written about the current president and his potential successor.

Johnson said there was a "rich thesaurus" of comments he had made in his journalistic career and joked that it would take "too long" to issue an apology for all the things he had written which had been "misconstrued".

Boris Johnson
(Kirsty Wigglesworth/AP)

During a press conference at the Foreign Office, Johnson said: "We can all spend an awfully long time going over lots of stuff I have written over the last 30 years ... all of which, in my view, has been taken out of context, but never mind - but there are some serious issues before us today."

He was asked about his reference to Obama's "part-Kenyan" ancestry during the EU referendum campaign, and his comparison of presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton to a "sadistic nurse in a mental hospital" or Lady Macbeth.

He said it was "far more important" to focus on the challenges facing the world.

"We have some very serious issues before us today. We have an unfolding humanitarian crisis in Syria, which is getting worse and worse, we have to come up with some answers there.

Barack Obama
(Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP)

"We have real problems in Yemen, which are currently intractable, and we have a burgeoning crisis in Egypt."