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Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images

The U.K. ambassador to the United States called President Trump "incompetent" and "inept" in communications sent to Britain's Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the Daily Mail first reported Saturday.

Details: CNN reports British officials confirmed that Kim Darroch's reported remarks are "genuine." The Foreign and Commonwealth Office did not dispute the veracity of the leaked diplomatic cables, AFP notes. A spokesperson said in a statement to news outlets about diplomats, "We pay them to be candid."

The big picture: In the diplomatic cables, said to span from 2017 to the present day, Darroch reportedly described conflicts within the Trump administration as "knife fights." He also reportedly said he didn't believe the White House would “ever look competent" and that Trump's presidency could "crash and burn" and "end in disgrace."

"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."
— Memo attributed to Kim Darroch

What they're saying: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office spokesperson stressed in her media statement that the opinions of diplomats "are not necessarily the views of ministers or indeed the government."

"The British public would expect our ambassadors to provide ministers with an honest, unvarnished assessment of the politics in their country. ... Our team in Washington have strong relations with the White House and no doubt that these will withstand such mischievous behaviour [as the leaking of diplomatic cables.]"

Go deeper

Updated 4 hours ago - World

Over 3,000 detained in protests across Russia demanding Navalny's release

Russian police officers beat protestesters at a rally against of jailing of oppositon leader Alexei Navalny in Moscow on Saturday. Photo: Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images

Police in Russia on Saturday arrested more than 3,300 people as protesters nationwide demanded that opposition leader Alexey Navalny be released from jail.

Details: Demonstrations began in the eastern regions of Russia and spread west to more than 60 cities.

Updated 6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Arizona Republicans censure Cindy McCain and GOP governor

Combination images of Cindy McCain and Gov. Doug Ducey. Photo: FilmMagic/FilmMagic for U.S.VETS/Michael Brochstein/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Arizona Republican Party members voted on Saturday to censure prominent GOP figures Cindy McCain, Gov. Doug Ducey and former Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), who've all faced clashes with former President Trump.

Why it matters: Although the resolution is symbolic, this move plus the re-election of the Trump-endorsed Kelli Ward as state GOP chair shows the strong hold the former president has on the party in Arizona, despite President Biden winning the state in the 2020 election.

Updated 9 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

  1. Health: Most vulnerable Americans aren't getting enough vaccine information — Fauci says Trump administration's lack of facts on COVID "very likely" cost lives.
  2. Education: Schools face an uphill battle to reopen during the pandemic.
  3. Vaccine: Florida requiring proof of residency to get vaccine — CDC extends interval between vaccine doses for exceptional cases.
  4. World: Hong Kong puts tens of thousands on lockdown as cases surge — Pfizer to supply 40 million vaccine doses to lower-income countries — Brazil begins distributing AstraZeneca vaccine.
  5. Sports: 2021 Tokyo Olympics hang in the balance.
  6. 🎧 Podcast: Carbon Health's CEO on unsticking the vaccine bottleneck.

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