0309 GMT February 24, 2020
US President Donald Trump on Tuesday lashed out at “foolish” British Prime Minister Theresa May and her “wacky” Washington ambassador, stepping up a tirade against a close ally whose envoy had branded his administration inept, Reuters reported.
“Sir Kim [Darroch] continues to have the prime minister’s full support ... He continues to carry out his duties with the full support of the PM,” May’s spokesman said on Tuesday, adding that May reiterated to her ministers that the leak was unacceptable.
“The wacky Ambassador that the UK foisted upon the United States is not someone we are thrilled with, a very stupid guy,” Trump wrote, describing British Ambassador Kim Darroch as a “pompous fool.”
“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. I told @theresa_may how to do that deal, but she went her own foolish way-was unable to get it done. A disaster!”
On Monday, Trump said he would not deal with the British ambassador after the leak of confidential memos.
Trump also on Monday attacked Britain’s outgoing prime minister, who had said her government had full confidence in Ambassador Kim Darroch, criticizing her handling of Brexit and saying she disregarded his advice.
“What a mess she and her representatives have created,” he wrote on Twitter. “I do not know the Ambassador, but he is not liked or well thought of within the US. 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.”
The spat between the two close allies followed the leak to a British newspaper on Sunday of memos from Darroch to London in which he said Trump’s administration was “dysfunctional” and “diplomatically clumsy and inept”.
May’s spokesman said while Darroch’s opinions did not reflect the view of the government or ministers, he said the diplomat had London’s backing and ambassadors needed to have the confidence to give their frank assessments.
“Contact has been made with the Trump administration, setting out our view that we believe the leak is unacceptable,” May’s spokesman told reporters. “It is, of course, a matter of regret that this has happened.”
May is also due to leave office before the end of the month and has previously clashed with Trump over a number of issues from Brexit to the Iran nuclear deal.
However, the timing of the discord comes as Britain is hoping to strike a major trade deal with its closest ally after it leaves the European Union, an exit scheduled for Oct. 31.
The two contenders to replace May, former London mayor Boris Johnson and Foreign Minister Jeremy Hunt, have both indicated they could support leaving the EU without a deal, making a future agreement with the United States even more important.
“We don’t really believe this Administration is going to become substantially more normal; less dysfunctional; less unpredictable; less faction riven; less diplomatically clumsy and inept,” Darroch wrote in one cable.
British officials have launched an inquiry to find out who was responsible for the leak and Hunt promised “serious consequences” for whoever was responsible.