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Relationship with UK Questionable After British Ambassador Resigns Over Leak of His Trump Comments
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11 Jul 2019 01:04 PM EST

By Laura Tucker, Staff writer; Image: Donald Trump, Queen Elizabeth II, Melania Trump, Prince Charles, and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall (Image source: Twitter)

 

All the good feelings that were left after Donald Trump's state visit to England are now gone. He got along great with the Queen and the prime minister, but after two years of cables from British Ambassador Sir Kim Darroch were shared, showing his disdain for the president, Trump reacted, the ambassador resigned, and now everything is in question.

 

In the leaked cables from 2017 through the present, Darroch wrote, "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." 

He also wrote, "Do not write him off," that although he is "mired in scandal," Trump could "emerge from the flames, battered but intact, like Schwarzenegger, in the final scenes of 'The Terminator.' "

 

According to the ambassador, the White House is "a uniquely dysfunctional environment." He added, "We could also be at the beginning of a downward spiral, rather than just a roller coaster, something could emerge that leads to disgrace and downfall." 

After Darroch's words were leaked, Trump said, "The ambassador has not served the U.K. well. We're not big fans of that man." He also referred to him as a "pompous fool" and said his administration would no longer work with him.

 

While Britain's outgoing Prime Minister Theresa May stood by the ambassador, she told Parliament on Wednesday it was a "matter of great regret that he has felt it necessary to leave his position," adding, "Sir Kim has given a lifetime of service to the United Kingdom, and we owe him an enormous debt of gratitude." 

"Good government depends on public servants being able to give full and frank advice," she continued. "I hope the House will reflect on the importance of defending our values and principles, particularly when they are under pressure."

 

Darroch wrote in his resignation letter, "The current situation is making it impossible for me to carry out my role asI would like," admitting that his time would have been up at the end of 2019 anyway, but he's decided to leave now. 

In the past there have been tense moments between the U.S. and the U.K. With regard to May's handling of Brexit. Trump has been eager to criticize her at times.

 

She's on her way out of office anyway, with her replacement heavily expected to be the former London mayor and former foreign secretary, Boris Johnson, a member of the Conservative Party. He's a favorite of Trump, which could bode well for the U.S., but on the flip side, Trump isn't popular with leaders across Europe. 

Darroch admitted to staff that he couldn't be effective as ambassador if the Trump administration wouldn't deal with him, and it didn't seem like something that was going to pass.

 

Additionally, he doesn't feel he had the support of Johnson, who didn't openly criticize Trump for his insults of Darroch and May, and didn't promise to keep Darroch around.  

However, his opponent, Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt, backed Darroch and admitted to being "deeply saddened" after his resignation. "Standing up for Britain means standing up for the finest diplomats on the world," he added. "It should have never come to this.

 

"I think the reality was that, in light of the last few days, his ability to be effective was probably limited," said Vice President Mike Pence's chief of staff, Marc Short, of Darroch. "So [the resignation] was probably the right course." 

While Trump said Darroch was "not liked or well thought of within the U.S.," other political figures in the U.S. differ from that opinion.

 

"@KimDarroch was an outstanding ambassador who served his country with honesty and integrity," wrote Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA). "He was a true friend to the United States, and it's a shame to see him go." 

Likewise, political figures in Britain are blaming some of this on Johnson.

 

"Boris Johnson isn't even PM yet, and he is already responsible for a grievous blow to the UK's international reputation," tweeted an independent lawmaker and onetime Johnson adviser, Nick Boles. 

"The British people can now see that Boris Johnson will be Donald Trump's poodle, that his response to any command from the White House will be: 'How high, Mr. President?' "

 

Britain's Foreign Office minister, Alan Duncan, said Johnson had "basically thrown our top diplomat under the bus, and there are a lot of people here in the Commons who are very, very angry." 

Johnson softened somewhat, stating that Darroch was a "super diplomat" who he worked alongside for "many years," adding that whoever leaked the cables exposing the ambassador's words should be "run down, caught, and eviscerated."

 

Darroch was welcoming to the Trump administration, and it's said he worked hard at trying to figure the president out, even inviting Trump confidants to the embassy for drinks.  

What it comes down to is Trump's feelings. Officials in the administration initially seemed okay with the leak of the cables and the words shared, and seemed to be willing to accept an apology.

 

However, Trump became more annoyed the more the story hit the news. So the man who stops at nothing to tear people up and throw out insults on Twitter like pennies couldn't stand a frank, honest look at his White House. 

And because of that, the relationship between Britain and the U.S. is up in the air, just like those of other allies. Trump's foreign policy has been one to attack in the name of doing right by the U.S., but there are always some things left in the wake.

 

Relationships with solid allies such as Mexico, Canada, and Britain are in disarray, while he works on foraging relationships with dictators such as North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, Russian president Vladimir Putin, and even the Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia, and increasingly worsens the relationship with Iran. 

But this is a man who does not understand basic relationships. His words regarding the women in his life are an example of that, let alone his words for other women. The U.S. will never have any solid foreign relationships with any country who isn't looking to pull one over on Trump, like Russia or North Korea, until he's out office.

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