Report: U.K. envoy called Trump inept and incompetent
Kim Darroch, the British ambassador to the U.S., described President Donald Trump as “inept” and “incompetent” in memos to his bosses, the Mail on Sunday reported – a leak the U.K. Foreign Office termed “mischievous behavior.”
The newspaper reported that Darroch used diplomatic cables and briefing notes to reflect on Trump and those who surround him. Trump’s White House was “uniquely dysfunctional” and given to “knife fights,” Darroch said, according to the newspaper.
Darroch, 65, a former national security adviser to the U.K. government and a career diplomat, has been the British ambassador in Washington since January 2016.
In the memos, which were seen by the Mail on Sunday, Darroch didn’t rule out Trump being indebted to “dodgy Russians,” yet said that the president had frequently overcome a life “mired by scandal.”
Trump may “emerge from the flames, battered but intact, like 1 / 8Arnold 3 / 8 Schwarzenegger in the final scenes of The Terminator,’” Darroch wrote, according to the newspaper. “Do not write him off.”
The leak of the memos comes after Trump traveled to the U.K. in early June to meet Queen Elizabeth II, Prime Minister Theresa May and be treated to a state dinner. Darroch said Trump and his team had been “dazzled” by the pomp surrounding the visit but remained self-interested.
The Foreign Office didn’t deny the accuracy of the memos. A spokeswoman said in a statement that “the British public would expect our ambassadors to provide ministers with an honest, unvarnished assessment of the politics in their country.” The comments by diplomats are “not necessarily the views of ministers or indeed the government,” she added.
“We pay them to be candid. Just as the U.S. ambassador here will send back his reading of Westminster politics and personalities,” the spokeswoman said.
“Of course we would expect such advice to be handled by ministers and civil servants in the right way, and it’s important that our ambassadors can offer their advice and for it to remain confidential. Our team in Washington have strong relations with the White House and no doubt these will withstand such mischievous behavior.”