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Sunday, Oct 20, 2019

Donald Trump unloads anger with UK envoy on Theresa May

The president also virtually declared the envoy, Kim Darroch, persona non-grata saying his administration will have nothing to do with him any more.

world Updated: Jul 09, 2019 13:28 IST
Yashwant Raj
Yashwant Raj
Hindustan Times, Washington
President Donald Trump
President Donald Trump(AP file photo)

US president Donald Trump launched a scathing personal attack on outgoing British Prime Minister Theresa May Monday angered perhaps by her government’s defense of the UK envoy’s uncharitable assessment of the American leader in leaked confidential diplomatic cable.

The president also virtually declared the envoy, Kim Darroch, persona non-grata saying his administration will have nothing to do with him any more. The ambassador was subsequently disinvited from a White House dinner for the visiting Emir of Qatar scheduled for Monday, according to some reports.

Darroch had called Trump “inept” and “insecure” and had described the Trump White House as “uniquely dysfunctional” in confidential cables reported by Daily Mail Saturday.

While the British scrambled to deal with the fallout, they also defended Darroch, a seasoned and highly respectable and liked diplomat, saying he was only doing his job by relaying to his government his frank and honest assessment, which all ambassadors do, as also perhaps the US ambassador in London.

Trump did not think so. After an uncharacteristically understated first response to the remarks — “we are not big fans of the man”, Trump said of Darroch on Sunday— the president gave vent to his anger in a tweet Tuesday, carrying forward and intensifying a feud with one of the closest allies of the United States.

“I have been very critical about the way the UK and Prime Minister Theresa May handled Brexit,” Trump wrote in a tweet.

“What a mess she and her representatives have created. I told her how it should be done, but she decided to go another way.” Why would she have listened to his unsolicited advice?

He carried on, however. “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.”

It was not clear if that meant Darroch was being expelled or withdrawn by the British government at US urging. There was no word yet from the state department, which will be the one to deliver the bad news to Darroch and London if it came to it.

But the president seemed angrier about the May government’s defense of the ambassador than the latter’s remarks. After attacking May on Brexit, he sought to humiliate her further, writing, “The good news for the wonderful United Kingdom is that they will soon have a new Prime Minister.”

And, he was not not done yet, “While I thoroughly enjoyed the magnificent State Visit last month, it was the Queen who I was most impressed with!”

First Published: Jul 09, 2019 09:17 IST

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