Donald Trump calls British Ambassador ‘very stupid’ as diplomatic spat escalates

Trump’s comments come after The Mail on Sunday published the contents of leaked diplomatic cables in which British Ambassador to the US, Kim Darroch had been critical of the Trump administration

A diplomatic kerfuffle between the US and the UK over the weekend looked like it was turning into a full blown standoff by Tuesday after US President Donald Trump criticised British Prime Minister Theresa May, welcoming her imminent departure from Downing Street, and saying he would “no longer deal” with British Ambassador to the US, Kim Darroch.

Mr. Trump’s comments come after The Mail on Sunday published the contents of leaked diplomatic cables in which Mr. Darroch had been critical of the Trump administration and called Mr. Trump “inept” and “insecure”.

“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. 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!” Mr Trump tweeted on Monday afternoon, saying Ms. May had not followed his advice on how to navigate Brexit.

Mr. Trump had met Britain’s Queen Elizabeth, while on a State visit to the UK in June as part of the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings in Normandy, France.

Mr. Trump’s reaction to the leaked cables escalated over the course of the Sunday- Tuesday period. From saying, on Sunday, that Mr. Darroch had not served the UK well and that “we’re not big fans of that man”, Mr. Trump had taken to Twitter on Tuesday morning, calling Mr. Darroch “very stupid”. He also described Ms. May’s Brexit deal negotiations (with the EU) as “foolish”.

Ms. May had said she had “full faith” in Mr. Darroch but did not share his views of Mr. Trump. The British Foreign Office had said that the British public expected “honest, unvarnished” assessments from its diplomats. The British government has launched an investigation into the leaks.

“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 handled,”Mr. Trump wrote on Tuesday.

“ I told @theresa_may how to do that deal, but she went her own foolish way-was unable to get it done. A disaster! I don’t know the Ambassador but have been told he is a pompous fool. Tell him the USA now has the best Economy & Military anywhere in the World, by far…”.

The leaks are being seen as a way to get Mr. Darroch out of Washington and replace him with someone who is a strong Brexit supporter – Mr. Trump has also repeatedly expressed his support for the UK’s departure from the European Union (EU). While Mr. Darroch has Ms. May’s backing it is highly likely that his future in Washington is over, with Ms. May serving as caretaker Prime Minister and due to depart Downing Street when her successor has been named.

“There is always a purpose behind such leaks. In this case the British Ambassador’s career in Washington is essentially over…he seems to have been done in,” a highly placed source in Washington told The Hindu.

The incident is especially significant given the US’s alliance with the UK, one of its key allies, is often described as a “special relationship.”

“This diplomatic incident is also indicative of a sense of disarray and a recalibration of the foreign policy situation between the US and its allies. That the British Ambassador could send such a damning report…” , the source told The Hindu.

On Tuesday, Mr. Darroch was expected to attend a meeting with the UK International Trade Secretary Liam Fox and Mr. Trump’s daughter and adviser, Ivanka Trump, the BBC reported.

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