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Report: President asked Woody Johnson to try to steer British Open to Trump Turnberry

Mike Florio and Chris Simms look at the NFL's COVID-19 testing plan for the 2020 season and whether it can work and not slow down testing for cities.

Jets owner Woody Johnson’s support for Donald Trump resulted in a plum assignment as American ambassador to Britain. It also reportedly came, in 2018, with a specific project.

The New York Times reports that Johnson told “multiple colleagues” in February 2018 that the President had asked Johnson if see whether the the British government could steer the British Open to the Trump Turnberry resort, in Scotland.

Per the report, Johnson’s deputy advised Johnson to not do it, based on the argument that it would amount to an unethical use of the presidential office for private gain. Also per the report, Johnson nevertheless broached the topic of Trump Turnberry hosting the British Open with David Mundell, Britain’s secretary of state for Scotland.

Johnson’s deputy, Lewis Lukens, reportedly informed the State Department about the incident. According to the report, Johnson forced Lukens out of his position, not long before his term otherwise would have ended. That happened, according to the report, after Lukens gave a speech in which he shared a “positive anecdote” regarding Barack Obama.

Buried in the New York Times article is this sentence regarding Johnson: “There have been complaints that he complimented the appearances of female employees during staff meetings, and after interviewing a candidate to replace Mr. Lukens as deputy chief of mission, he asked a colleague whether she was Jewish.”

Johnson’s brother, Christopher, has run the team in Woody’s absence. It’s believed that Woody, 73, will resume control over what the Times calls a “perennially struggling N.F.L. franchise” whenever his time as an ambassador ends.