Kim Darroch, the British ambassador to the United States who disparaged the Trump administration in memos that were leaked to the British press, resigned on Wednesday, a day after President Trump called him a “pompous fool.”
Darroch, who was due to leave his post in December, said the blowback in Washington had become untenable.
“Since the leak of official documents from this Embassy there has been a great deal of speculation surrounding my position and the duration of my remaining term as ambassador,” Darroch wrote in his resignation letter. “I want to put an end to that speculation. The current situation is making it impossible for me to carry out my role.”
In the memos published over the weekend by the Mail, a British tabloid, Darroch described the Trump White House as “inept,” “dysfunctional” and “unpredictable.”
“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,” Darroch wrote in one.
The British Foreign Office said that the messages were not meant to be made public, and that Darroch was simply doing his job.
“The British public would expect our ambassadors to provide ministers with an honest, unvarnished assessment of the politics in their country,” the Foreign Office said in a statement. “Their views are not necessarily the views of ministers or indeed the government. But we pay them to be candid. Just as the U.S. ambassador here will send back his reading of Westminster politics and personalities.”
In response, Trump declared the United States would “no longer deal with” the ambassador, a career British diplomat who had been in the position since January 2016. The president then lobbed several personal insults at Darroch on Twitter.
“The wacky Ambassador that the U.K. foisted upon the United States is not someone we are thrilled with, a very stupid guy,” Trump tweeted. “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 don’t know the Ambassador,” Trump added, “but have been told he is a pompous fool.”
Darroch's resignation also came hours after a debate in London where Boris Johnson, the leading candidate in the race to replace May as prime minister, refused to back the ambassador.
Foreign Minister Alan Duncan said Johnson effectively threw “this fantastic diplomat under a bus.”
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