President Donald Trump on Sunday took aim at the United Kingdom’s ambassador to the U.S., saying Sir Kim Darroch had “not served the U.K. well” after the ambassador lambasted the Trump administration as “inept” and “incompetent” in leaked diplomatic messages.
“We’ve had our little ins and outs with a couple of countries and I would say that the U.K., and the ambassador has not served the U.K. well, I can tell you that,” Trump told reporters when asked about Darroch’s remarks.
“We’re not big fans of that man,” the president continued. “And I can say things about him but I won’t bother.”
The leaked diplomatic cables, published by the U.K.’s Mail on Sunday, revealed Darroch’s dim view of the Trump administration.
“We don’t really believe [Trump’s] Administration is going to become substantially more normal; less dysfunctional; less unpredictable; less faction riven; less diplomatically clumsy and inept,” Darroch, a veteran diplomat who has served as the British ambassador to the U.S. since 2016, said in one blistering message.
In another letter, penned in June 2017, Darroch warned that the U.K. should be prepared for more potential outbursts from Trump.
“There is no filter,” the ambassador wrote. “And we could also be at the beginning of a downward spiral, rather than just a rollercoaster: something could emerge that leads to disgrace and downfall.”
According to the BBC, the British Foreign Office described the cable leak as “mischievous” but did not deny the authenticity of its contents. A department spokesperson told the outlet that the government had launched an inquiry into the leak.
Doing damage control on Sunday, British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt emphasized the U.K.’s respect for the Trump administration.
“We continue to think that under President Trump the U.S. administration is not just highly effective but the best friend of Britain on the international stage,” he said.
Hunt stressed that Darroch’s memos reflected only the ambassador’s “personal view” and not that of the U.K. government. He noted it was an ambassador’s job to give “frank opinions.”