Thursday, 24 Sep 2020

British envoy to US rubbished Trump in cables, the Mail reports

LONDON (BLOOMBERG) – Sir Kim Darroch, the British ambassador to the United States, described President Donald Trump as “inept” and “incompetent” in diplomatic memos to his bosses at the UK Foreign Office, the Mail on Sunday reported.

The newspaper reported that Sir Darroch used cables and briefing notes to comment on Mr Trump and those who surround him. Mr Trump’s White House was “uniquely dysfunctional” and given to “knife fights”, Sir Darroch said, according to the newspaper.

Sir Darroch, 65, a former national security adviser to the UK 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, Sir Darroch did not rule out Mr Trump being indebted to “dodgy Russians”, yet said that the president had frequently overcome a life “mired by scandal”.

Mr Trump may “emerge from the flames, battered but intact, like (Arnold) Schwarzenegger in the final scenes of ‘The Terminator’,” Sir Darroch wrote, according to the newspaper. “Do not write him off.”

The leak of the memos came after Mr Trump travelled to the United Kingdom in early June to meet Queen Elizabeth II and Prime Minister Theresa May, and was treated to a state dinner.

Sir Darroch said Mr Trump and his team had been “dazzled” by the pomp surrounding the state visit but remained self-interested.

A Foreign Office official told the UK Press Association in a lengthy response 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 ambassadors are “not necessarily” the views of the government, the office said.

The British Embassy in Washington did not immediately respond to a request for comment outside of normal business hours.

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