Britain’s Ambassador to Washington finds himself in an increasingly tight spot on Tuesday after a series of fresh tweets from the President of the country hosting him, calling him “a very stupid guy.”
The hard-hitting tweets from an irate President Donald Trump lashed out at the UK envoy after Sir Kim Darroch’s private memo to the Foreign Office described the Trump administration as “inept” and “dysfunctional” was leaked to a UK outlet.
Trump responded by saying his administration would no longer deal with the Ambassador while accusing British Prime Minister Teresa May of making a mess over Brexit.
It started on Monday with a thread accusing Prime Minister May of creating a mess with Brexit contrary to the advice he had given her.
Trump also referred to Ambassador Darroch as not liked or well thought of and that the US would no longer deal with him.
Earlier on Tuesday, there was more, referring to the envoy as “wacky” and “stupid”, saying he didn’t know him, but heard he was a “pompous fool.”
“I’d say that the UK and the ambassador has not served the UK well. I can tell you that. We are not big fans of that man and he has not served the UK well,” says Trump.
The UK government has expressed full confidence in their envoy while Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt tried to address the question of the original leaked memo.
“I’m very concerned about it because fundamental to the proper functioning of our diplomatic network, which I happen to believe is one of the finest if not the finest in the world, is to be able to exchange opinions frankly. And so, we need to find out how it happened. Not least to give confidence to our teams all over the world that they can continue to give us their frank assessment. So, that’s why we’re going to have a leak inquiry. I hope we get to the bottom of it. And of course, there will be very serious consequences if and when we find out who’s responsible,” says Hunt.
Downing Street earlier called the leak unfortunate and has begun a formal investigation.
Darroch’s memo also described President Trump as radiating insecurity, but the Foreign Secretary defended his right to be frank while not necessarily sharing the same position.
The leak of this diplomatic cable will bring back stark reminders of the 2010 United States leak that saw Wikileaks release classified cables sent to the US State Department by their diplomatic missions around the world, causing great embarrassment to the government here, including allegations that the US had instructed diplomats to spy on the UN leadership including then Secretary General Ban Ki Moon – and a memo in 2000 that revealed an alleged offer from former UN Chief Kofi Annan to Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe of a lucrative retirement package if he were to stand down as President then.
On the UK case, it remains unclear how much longer Ambassador Kim Darroch can effectively remain in his post despite the confidence expressed in him by his government.
The wacky Ambassador that the U.K. foisted upon the United States is not someone we are thrilled with, a very stupid guy. He should speak to his country, and Prime Minister May, about their failed Brexit negotiation, and not be upset with my criticism of how badly it was…
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 9, 2019