Darroch. Photo: Niall Carson/PA Images via Getty Images

President Trump says he'll "no longer deal" with Kim Darroch, the U.K. ambassador to Washington, after Prime Minister Theresa May expressed confidence in Darroch despite leaked cables in which he questioned Trump's competence.

Why it matters: As the ambassador to a top U.S. ally, Darroch meets regularly with senior officials in the Trump administration. May will be replaced later this month, probably by the Trump-friendly Boris Johnson. If this is more than a passing dispute, Johnson will have to decide between standing by Darroch and the British diplomatic service, or making an early goodwill gesture to Trump by choosing a favorable replacement.

Context: Darroch, a highly regarded career civil servant, was due to leave Washington at the end of this year — his fourth in the post. Members of the Trump administration have been regularly spotted at events at the ambassador's residence.

“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, in a leaked 2017 memo
"I have been very critical about the way the U.K. and Prime Minister Theresa May handled Brexit. ... 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 thought of within the U.S. We will no longer deal with him."
— From Trump's tweets today

Between the lines: The real surprise here isn't the contents of the private messages Darroch sent back to London, but the fact that they leaked to the Mail on Sunday tabloid in the first place.

  • There has been frantic speculation about the motives behind the leak.
  • One prominent theory is that the intent was to damage Darroch and a likely successor, Mark Sedwill, and boost a pro-Brexit alternative.

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The big picture: Clinton, who nominated Ginsburg to the court in 1993, declined to say whether he thinks Democrats should respond by adding more justices if they take back the Senate and the White House in November. Instead, he called on Republicans to "remember the example Abraham Lincoln set" by not confirming a justice in an election year.

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Why it matters: Pelosi wants to steer the conversation around the potential Ginsburg replacement to health care, which polls show is a top issue for voters, especially amid the coronavirus pandemic. The Trump administration has urged the courts to strike down the law, and with it, protections for millions with pre-existing conditions.

Mike Allen, author of AM
Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Democrats' Armageddon option

A makeshift memorial outside the Supreme Court yesterday. Photo: Jose Luis Magana/AFP via Getty Images

Furious Democrats are considering total war — profound changes to two branches of government, and even adding stars to the flag — if Republicans jam through a Supreme Court nominee, then lose control of the Senate.

On the table: Adding Supreme Court justices ... eliminating the Senate's 60-vote threshold to end filibusters ... and statehood for D.C. and Puerto Rico. "If he holds a vote in 2020, we pack the court in 2021," Rep. Joe Kennedy III (D-Mass.) tweeted.