US & Canada

Trump sidetracks US ambassador's Twitter Q&A

Woody Johnson at an event Image copyright EPA
Image caption US Ambassador Robert 'Woody' Johnson still aims to answer your questions

On Tuesday, the US Ambassador to the UK Woody Johnson asked people to tweet their questions about "life in the UK, becoming Ambassador, and the US-UK relationship", but the next day President Donald Trump's retweets had shifted the focus of the submissions.

The campaign was swept up in the controversy over President Trump retweeting inflammatory anti-Muslim videos and his later tweet to UK Prime Minister Theresa May, telling her to focus on "destructive Islamic Terrorism", not on him.

Inevitably, Mr Johnson received more questions about President Trump than ones about his new role. However, the ambassador still aims to answer questions tweeted to him next week.

Image copyright @USAmbUK

The campaign was launched on Tuesday 28 November, the day before the President's controversial retweets.

Many questions focused on Mr Trump's latest Twitter antics and the US-UK relationship.

Social media users were encouraged to send their questions with the hashtag #AskWoody, which has now been used more than 600 times on Twitter.

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Although many joked about how Mr Johnson was planning to distance himself from his president, others used the platform to vent their anger at Mr Trump.

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Image copyright @Kabir_LDN

Several asked whether the president's actions endangered Americans in Muslim nations, or America's relationships with Muslim nations, while others asked if Mr Johnson thought Mr Trump's visit to the UK should go ahead.

Mr Johnson replied on Thursday to say thank people for their questions and that "I have relayed your concerns to Washington".

Image copyright @USAmbUK

A spokesperson for the US Embassy told the BBC: "The embassy often engages with the public via social media platforms."

The embassy explained that the inspiration for the campaign came from the ambassador's time as the owner of the American football team the New York Jets.

"When Ambassador Johnson was a sports team owner he found it very valuable to get to know the fans by walking around the stadium on game day and this is the digital equivalent."

Mr Johnson plans to answer the questions on the live-streaming platform Periscope next week.

The US embassy confirmed the ambassador "looks forward to answering some questions next week on December 5".

By George Pierpoint and Paul Harrison, UGC and Social News

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