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Trump, May and Hunt during last month's state visit. Photo: Chris Jackson - WPA Pool/Getty Images

U.K. Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt, who is in the running to replace Theresa May as prime minister later this month, has scolded President Trump for his "disrespectful and wrong" comments about May and the U.K.'s ambassador to Washington, Kim Darroch.

Context: Darroch described Trump's administration as "inept" and "incompetent" in private memos back to London that leaked to the Mail on Sunday. After May declined to censure Darroch, Trump unleashed a series of tweets accusing the prime minister of taking a "foolish" approach to Brexit, and claiming his administration would cut off ties with Darroch.

"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 handled."
— Trump, via Twitter
"[T]hese comments are disrespectful and wrong to our Prime Minister and my country. ... You said the UK/US alliance was the greatest in history and I agree... allies need to treat each other with respect as @theresa_may has always done with you. Ambassadors are appointed by the UK government and if I become PM our Ambassador stays."
— Hunt's response, via Twitter

The big picture: Trump has repeatedly insulted and embarrassed May, including by suggesting Boris Johnson should replace her as prime minister. The president is likely to get his wish as Johnson leads Hunt by a big margin among Conservative Party members, who are currently taking part in a mail-in ballot to select their next leader. Johnson has not yet commented on whether he would keep Darroch in Washington — though he'll likely be forced to confront the issue during a televised leadership debate on Tuesday evening.

Go deeper: Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt will square off to replace Theresa May

Go deeper

Updated 2 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Health: Omicron fuels the case for COVID boosters — Omicron variant lifts Moderna's stock price — CDC strengthens COVID booster recommendation.
  2. Politics: Biden says fight against Omicron won't include "shutdowns or lockdowns."
  3. States: Federal court blocks Biden's vaccine mandate for health workers in 10 states — NYC urges masks indoors "at all times" regardless of vaccination status — New York declares state of emergency amid concerns over Omicron.
  4. World: Omicron adds urgency to vaccinating worldWHO warns against travel bans on southern African countries — First North American Omicron cases identified in Canada.
  5. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.
Kendall Baker, author of Sports
Updated 11 mins ago - Sports

College football gone mad

Former Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly walks in front of his players. Photo: David Madison/Getty Images

In the span of two days, the head coaches of two of the biggest college football programs in America have jumped ship, wooed by even greater challenges — and the almighty dollar.

Driving the news: Lincoln Riley is ditching Oklahoma for USC in a deal reportedly worth $110 million. LSU poached Brian Kelly from Notre Dame with a reported 10-year, $100 million contract.

Media startups anxiously await BuzzFeed’s stock market debut

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Digital media companies considering going public are watching BuzzFeed's expected stock market debut next week to see how investors will respond.

Why it matters: A slowdown in SPACs (special purpose acquisition companies) earlier this year pushed some digital media companies that were considering going public via SPAC IPOs away from the idea, such as Vice.