The U.S. Senate has confirmed Woody Johnson, heir to the Johnson and Johnson pharmaceutical empire and the owner of the New York Jets football team, as the next American ambassador to Britain. Matt Larotonda reports.
U.S. President Donald Trump's pick for one of his top ambassadorships has finally been cleared to tackle the job. Woody Johnson, owner of the New York Jets football team and heir to the Johnson and Johnson pharmaceutical empire, will be the next ambassador to the United Kingdom. Confirmed by the Senate late on Thursday (August 3) before their summer recess, and now awaiting an official swear-in. Like many political appointees Johnson has a deep history as a Republican fundraiser, although he wasn't always an ally of the president. During the campaign he was even the target of one of the Trump's famous Twitter attacks when Johnson initially backed Jeb Bush as the party nominee. Johnson's also a member of a major Washington foreign policy think tank, the Council on Foreign Relations. Yet his pick for Britain, specifically, dovetails with his NFL history. The football league is in the middle of a huge push for exposure in the country. Playing American teams against each other in London, including the Jets, since 2007. But they've been playing more games and with much bigger fanfare, for only the last few years. It's yet to be seen if Johnson will play a role. His arrival also comes as President Trump is pushing for an even tighter relationship with the UK. Promising a new trade deal as it prepares to leave the European Union, although no details have been revealed. The London embassy has been without a head since Trump summarily dismissed every sitting ambassador from the Obama administration six months ago. Johnson was confirmed along with ambassadors to Portugal, Italy, and NATO.