The British ambassador to the United States resigned on Wednesday following leaked cables in which the diplomat had criticized President Donald Trump, calling him “inept” and “incompetent,” adding that the president was “radiating insecurity.”
In the memo, leaked in a British tabloid on Sunday, Ambassador Kim Darroch said that Trump was “uniquely dysfunctional” and that “his career could end in disgrace.”
Darroch stepped down after Trump said his administration would no longer deal with him. Lashing out on Twitter, Trump called Darroch “wacky” and a “very stupid guy”:
…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
Darroch issued a statement saying he was “grateful” to the support he’d received in recent days.
“This has brought home to me the depth of friendship and close ties between our two countries. I have been deeply touched,” he wrote. Outgoing British Prime Minister Theresa May said that his resignation was “a matter of regret.”
It’s unclear if she will replace him before she leaves office at the end of July.
Trump has been on two official visits to the United Kingdom, and has been openly critical of May’s handing of Brexit — the attempt to pull the United Kingdom out of the European Union.
May has failed to pass any version of the deal though Parliament, and will be leaving office at the end of July, likely to be succeeded by either Jeremy Hunt or Boris Johnson, two men Trump has praised in the past.
Johnson refused to back Darroch, and many members of Parliament and former officials in the foreign service are criticizing Johnson for acting as President Trump’s “patsy” for throwing Darroch “under a bus.
The U.K. has until October 31 to pass a Brexit deal through parliament. A “no deal” Brexit would essentially trigger chaos, as Northern Ireland (which is in the U.K.) shares a border with the Republic of Ireland (which is not).
Under Trump, the “special relationship” between the U.S. and the U.K. has grown strained as he has criticized May, praised her critics, imposed steel and aluminum tariffs on the U.K. (as part the E.U.) and undermined its efforts to keep the nuclear deal with Iran alive.
Having pulled out of the nuclear deal (which includes the U.K., France, Germany, Russia, and China) in 2018, Trump has reimposed sanctions on Iran, and has threatened secondary sanctions on any other country that continues to trade with or invest in Iran.