Seven years before Boris Johnson was chosen to become the U.K.’s next prime minister, the then-mayor of London told David Letterman that there was just about zero chance he’d ever assume his nation’s highest elected office.
“I’ve about as much chance of being reincarnated as an olive,” he said in a 2012 appearance on “The Late Show With David Letterman.”
On Tuesday, the colorful Johnson won the U.K.’s Conservative party leadership race, meaning that he will become the next prime minister when current Prime Minister Theresa May steps down on Wednesday.
Johnson, who, in addition to being London’s mayor, was British Foreign Secretary, took 92,153 votes, while rival Jeremy Hunt had 46,656 votes in a ballot of party members, according to CNN.
The 55-year-old didn’t always have such lofty political ambitions, as his interview with Letterman revealed.
The late-night host questioned Johnson further about his statement: “Why would you say that? Politics is nothing if not about ambition.”
“I suppose I could if I wanted to, as you pointed out, I could be president of the United States,” Johnson, who was born in New York City to wealthy upper-middle-class British parents, quipped.
Watch the clip in the video above.
Flash forward and Johnson now has the daunting task of uniting the U.K. amidst the Brexit divide.
During his acceptance speech on Tuesday morning, he reminded his audience of ministers and party staff of his campaign mantra: “Deliver Brexit, unite the country and defeat Jeremy Corbyn,” pledging that he would “get Brexit done by 31 October” with a “new spirit of can-do,” according to The Guardian.
Johnson already has the support of President Donald Trump, who tweeted on Tuesday: “Congratulations to Boris Johnson on becoming the new Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. He will be great!”
Congratulations to Boris Johnson on becoming the new Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. He will be great!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 23, 2019