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Trump says US will no longer work with British ambassador critical of administration
President Trump will no longer work with Britain’s ambassador after the diplomat’s private, scathing assessment of Trump was revealed. Trump announced in a tweet that the U.S. will stop dealing with Sir Kim Darroch after memos leaked Sunday in which the ambassador called Trump an inept liar who runs a “dysfunctional” administration.
“I do not know the Ambassador, but he is not liked or well thought of within the U.S. We will no longer deal with him,” Trump said.
Weeks after Trump presented a united front with Prime Minister Theresa May on a state visit to Britain, cables were leaked to the Daily Mail Sunday that touched Trump’s nerves. The memos showed that Darroch, in 2017, gave a very blunt evaluation of Trump to British officials.
The diplomat reportedly wrote that Trump was viewed as “radiating insecurity” and “incompetent.” Darroch also said that Trump fills speeches with “false claims and invented statistics” and speculated that “we really don’t believe that this Administration is going to become substantially more normal; less dysfunctional, less unpredictable, less faction-riven, less diplomatically clumsy and inept.”
The leak prompted a response from May, who called Darroch’s comments “absolutely unacceptable” while affirming support for the diplomat. The damage, however, was already done.
“I have been very critical about the way the U.K. and Prime Minister Theresa May handled Brexit. What a mess she and her representatives have created. I told her how it should be done, but she decided to go another way,” Trump tweeted, adding that the U.S. would cut ties with Darroch.
“The good news for the wonderful United Kingdom is that they will soon have a new Prime Minister. While I thoroughly enjoyed the magnificent State Visit last month, it was the Queen who I was most impressed with!”
The incident marked the first time in over a century that the U.S. cut ties with a diplomat from its close trans-Atlantic ally, according to Fox. Darroch was disinvited from a dinner with Trump and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin on Monday night.
The scandal put a strain on relations between the United States and the United Kingdom only weeks after Trump visited the island nation amid turmoil over Brexit. The president’s trip came as May’s exit from office was pending over her failure to negotiate a Brexit deal.
Trump courted controversy in June for weighing in on Brexit and also on his favorite to replace May — friend and front-runner Boris Johnson, for meeting with Brexit architect Nigel Farage, and for floating a possible post-Brexit trade deal between the U.S. and the U.K. In a reversal from past criticism of May, Trump praised her handling of the deal.
But the cables have changed things considerably. British officials were left scrambling to fix the mess caused by the leaks. The British government launched an investigation into the incident and a spokesperson affirmed its “full support” for Darroch, while maintaining the “special and enduring relationship with the US based on our long history and commitment to shared values and that will continue to be the case.” Britain added that foreign ministers are expected to make frank assessments of politics in the countries they’re assigned to work with.
“‘We have made clear to the US how unfortunate this leak is,” the spokesperson said. “The selective extracts leaked do not reflect the closeness of, and the esteem in which we hold, the relationship. At the same time we have also underlined the importance of Ambassadors being able to provide honest, unvarnished assessments of the politics in their country. Sir Kim Darroch continues to have the Prime Minister’s full support.”
Despite efforts to mollify Trump, the president clearly hasn’t taken kindly to her ambassador’s words. Asked on Sunday about the leaks, Trump said that Darroch “has not served the U.K. well” and “we’re not big fans of that man.”
“I can say things about him, but I won’t bother,” Trump added.
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