Trump says UK ambassador 'a very stupid guy'


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The UK’s “wacky” ambassador to the US is “a very stupid guy” Donald Trump has said, amid a row over leaked emails.

This came after Downing Street reaffirmed its “full support” for Sir Kim Darroch.

On Sunday emails revealed the ambassador had called the Trump administration “clumsy and inept”.

Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said Mr Trump’s comments were “disrespectful and wrong to our Prime Minister and my country.”

In a tweet to Mr Trump, the Tory leadership hopeful added: “Ambassadors are appointed by the UK government and if I become PM our Ambassador stays.”

Boris Johnson, the current Tory leadership frontrunner, also waded into the row.

He said: “I have got a good relationship with the White House and I have no embarrassment in saying that.”

“I think it’s very important that we have a strong relationship with our most important ally.

“The United States is, has been, will be and for the foreseeable future our number one political military friend.”

Skip Twitter post by @Jeremy_Hunt

1/2 @realDonaldTrump friends speak frankly so I will: these comments are disrespectful and wrong to our Prime Minister and my country. Your diplomats give their private opinions to @SecPompeo and so do ours! You said the UK/US alliance was the greatest in history and I agree… https://t.co/hNeBWmyyVN

— Jeremy Hunt (@Jeremy_Hunt) July 9, 2019

End of Twitter post by @Jeremy_Hunt

Skip Twitter post 2 by @Jeremy_Hunt

2/2…but allies need to treat each other with respect as @theresa_may has always done with you. Ambassadors are appointed by the UK government and if I become PM our Ambassador stays.

— Jeremy Hunt (@Jeremy_Hunt) July 9, 2019

End of Twitter post 2 by @Jeremy_Hunt

A spokesman for Theresa May said that Sir Kim is “a dutiful, respected government official” and confirmed there are no plans for Mrs May and Mr Trump to hold a call to discuss relations following the leak.

Sir Kim will now no longer meet the president’s daughter Ivanka Trump as scheduled on Tuesday, the BBC has been told.

The Prime Minister’s spokesman added: “He isn’t attending the meeting but he is supporting Liam Fox in other ways on his trip.”

Earlier on Tuesday Mr Trump tweeted: “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.

“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…and they are both only getting bigger, better and stronger…Thank you, Mr. President!”

Skip Twitter post by @realDonaldTrump

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

End of Twitter post by @realDonaldTrump

Skip Twitter post 2 by @realDonaldTrump

…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! 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…

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 9, 2019

End of Twitter post 2 by @realDonaldTrump

Skip Twitter post 3 by @realDonaldTrump

….and they are both only getting bigger, better and stronger…..Thank you, Mr. President!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 9, 2019

End of Twitter post 3 by @realDonaldTrump

Number 10 previously called the leak “unfortunate” and has begun a formal investigation. It said the UK and US still shared a “special and enduring” relationship.

Sir Kim was scheduled to visit the White House alongside International Trade Secretary Liam Fox on Tuesday, but will not now be attending, the BBC’s Nick Bryant says.

Skip Twitter post by @NickBryantNY

Sir Kim Darroch will not attend the meeting between Ivanka Trump and Int. Trade Sec Liam Fox, we understand. His decision. He didn’t want to put Ivanka Trump in awkward position. Evidently trying to be the grown up not in the room. This decision taken before latest Tweet storm.

— Nick Bryant (@NickBryantNY) July 9, 2019

End of Twitter post by @NickBryantNY

Confidential emails from the UK’s ambassador, leaked to the Mail on Sunday, contained a string of criticisms of Mr Trump and his administration, and said the White House was “uniquely dysfunctional” and divided under his presidency.

Sir Kim, who became ambassador to the US in January 2016 about a year before Mr Trump took office, questioned whether this White House “will ever look competent” but also warned that the US president should not be written off.

The emails, dating from 2017, said rumours of “infighting and chaos” in the White House were mostly true and policy on sensitive issues such as Iran was “incoherent, chaotic”.

Speaking on Monday following Mr Trump’s initial comments on the leaked emails, Downing Street said the prime minister did not agree with Sir Kim’s assessment but had “full faith” in him.

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EPA/OLIVER CONTRERAS

Image caption

Ivanka Trump, pictured arriving at a dinner Sir Kim was disinvited from on Monday, was due to meet the ambassador later

On Tuesday morning, before the president’s latest comments, a Downing Street spokesman said: “We have made clear to the US how unfortunate this leak is. The selective extracts leaked do not reflect the closeness of, and the esteem in which we hold, the relationship.”

But he said ambassadors needed to be able to provide honest assessments of the politics in their country, and the prime minister stood by Sir Kim.

“The UK has a special and enduring relationship with the US based on our long history and commitment to shared values and that will continue to be the case,” he said.

Conservative leadership contender and former foreign secretary Boris Johnson said he had a “good relationship” with the White House.

“I think it’s very important that we have a strong relationship with our most important ally”, he said.

“The United States has been, will be for the foreseeable future, our number one political military friend and partner and we’re going to continue to stress the vital importance of that relationship.”