10 July 2019 - 14:02
News ID: 445937
A
Donald Trump's refusal to deal with the UK ambassador following the leak of his frank assessment of the US president's chaotic rule raises a big question: can the allies' much-vaunted "special relationship" survive?

RNA - The Mail on Sunday's publication of Ambassador Kim Darroch's confidential cables set off a furious Trump Twitter storm.

Darroch had called Trump "inept" and his administration "uniquely dysfunctional".

Trump tweeted back Monday that Darroch "is not liked or well thought of within the US. We will no longer deal with him." He also welcomed the "good news" that Prime Minister Theresa May was stepping down in two weeks.

I have been very critical about the way the U.K. and Prime Minister Theresa May handled Brexit. What a mess she and her representatives have created. I told her how it should be done, but she decided to go another way. I do not know the Ambassador, but he is not liked or well....
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 8, 2019

....thought of within the U.S. 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. While I thoroughly enjoyed the magnificent State Visit last month, it was the Queen who I was most impressed with!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 8, 2019

He followed that up on Tuesday by calling "wacky Ambassador" Darroch "a very stupid guy".

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

...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

....and they are both only getting bigger, better and stronger.....Thank you, Mr. President!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 9, 2019

All of which creates another headache for UK politicians during a tumultuous stretch in which they must decide how -- or even if -- Britain will leave the EU as scheduled on October 31.

Who leaked?

The hunt is on for the culprit and the "whodunnit" theories are flying.

Most concern the nuanced politics at play in the UK leadership fight between Brexit-backing former London mayor Boris Johnson and underdog Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt.

One popular theory says the leak was meant to punish both Darroch and the politician tipped to replace him for allegedly failing to embrace Brexit in full.

This would suggest that the culprit was trying to make sure Johnson -- seemingly assured of May's office -- picks someone who shares Trump's far more skeptical view of the EU.

But the leak has also damaged Britain's foreign standing and some talk is focused on how much an old rival like Russian President Vladimir Putin stands to gain.

"Of course it would be massively concerning if it was the act of a foreign, hostile state," Hunt told The Sun.

Can the ambassador stay?

UK politicians of all stripes have bristled at the thought of Trump simply shoving their man out of Washington.

Whether Darroch can still perform his duties depends on what Trump actually meant in his tweets.

Source: AFP

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Tags: Trump US UK
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