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President Trump and U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May. Photo: Emmanuel Dunand/AFP/Getty Images

The U.K.'s ambassador to the U.S. has the "full support" of the prime minister, a spokesman said in a statement to news outlets. He made the comment after President Trump said he'd "no longer deal" with ambassador Kim Darroch over leaked cables showing he criticized Trump.

We have made clear to the U.S. how unfortunate this leak is. The selective extracts leaked do not reflect the closeness of, and the esteem in which we hold, the relationship."
— U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May

The big picture: The prime minister's spokesman maintained the British Government's stance that it's important for ambassadors to provide honest assessments of the politics in their country, per the BBC. The government has launched an inquiry into the leaking of the information to the Mail on Sunday tabloid.

  • Darroch is due to leave Washington, D.C., at the end of this year.

Why it matters: As a top U.S. ally's ambassador, Darroch meets regularly with senior officials in the Trump administration, Axios' Dave Lawler notes.

  • May will be replaced this month, probably by the Trump-friendly Boris Johnson. If this is more than a passing dispute, the new PM 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, per Lawler.

Go deeper

Defense taking steps to mitigate civilian harm after botched airstrikes

Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin speaks during a news conference at the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia on Sept. 1, 2021. Photo: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin issued a directive Thursday to improve the U.S. military's approach to civilian harm mitigation and response, calling it a "strategic and a moral imperative."

Why it matters: The Pentagon has faced criticism for years for amassing civilian casualties in its missions, especially in the Middle East. New York Times investigations have found systemic failures in efforts to prevent civilian deaths, as well as a cover-up of a 2019 airstrike that killed dozens of women and children in Syria.

2 hours ago - World

Mapped: The world's most and least corrupt countries

Expand chart
Data: Transparency International; Map: Jared Whalen/Axios

The most corrupt governments in the world are in South Sudan, Syria and Somalia, according to Transparency International's annual index, while the "cleanest" are in Denmark, Finland and New Zealand.

  • Breaking it down: The U.S. is 27th, China 66th, India 85th, Brazil 96th and Russia 136th. Scroll over the map to see each country's ranking.

Crypto leads to massive surge in online scams

Expand chart
Reproduced from FTC; Chart: Axios Visuals

Bogus cryptocurrency investments led to an unprecedented increase in online scams last year, according to new data from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

Why it matters: Cryptocurrency is an easy target because while it's surging in popularity, there's still a lot of confusion about how it works.

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