Jul 10, 2019

What ambassadors say about Trump

Kim Darroch in 2017. Photo: Paul Morigi/Getty Images

The latest leak-gate has ended with an exit for U.K. ambassador to the U.S. Kim Darroch, who resigned Wednesday in the face of public attacks from President Trump.

Why it matters: "Until Mr. Darroch’s confidential cables appeared in the Daily Mail last weekend, none of the major ambassadors in Washington had been denounced by President Trump as 'wacky' and a 'very stupid guy,'" the NY Times' David Sanger notes.

  • “'It could have been any of us,' one ambassador, who is still serving and therefore spoke on the condition of anonymity, said on Wednesday," per the Times.

What he's saying: "The current situation is making it impossible for me to carry out my role as I would like," Darroch wrote in his resignation letter.

The big picture: Darroch's less than glowing leaked messages match what other ambassadors are sending home about the Trump administration, Sanger reports.

  • Former French ambassador Gérard Araud: "I knew that nothing would remain secret, so I sent them in a most confidential manner.”
  • More from Araud: "It’s what happens when a populist leader takes command in a liberal democracy. These people don’t recognize or accept the idea that an ambassador or a bureaucrat could be of any use. They only want to deal with other leaders.”

The bottom line: "There will be a new British ambassador. ... But under current conditions it is unclear whether that diplomat’s access will be much better."

  • It’s not easy to be an ally in Trump’s Washington, Axios' Dave Lawler notes.

Go deeper

Kim Darroch resigns as U.K. ambassador to the U.S.

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

U.K. Ambassador to the U.S. Kim Darroch resigned Wednesday after days of controversy over his leaked cables back to London regarding President Trump's temperament.

Why it matters: The ensuing firestorm severely damaged his public reputation with the Trump administration — kicking off a war of words between the U.S. and the U.K. — and made him a persona non grata in the White House.

Go deeperArrowJul 10, 2019

Trump abandoned Iran nuclear deal to "spite Obama," U.K. leak claims

President Trump and former President Obama. Photo: Rob Carr/Getty Images

The suspected leaker of confidential cables from Britain's ambassador to the U.S. has been identified, the Sunday Times reports, as fresh leaks to the Mail on Sunday claim President Trump abandoned the Iran nuclear deal to "spite" predecessor Barack Obama.

Details: The latest leak shows Kim Darroch, who resigned Wednesday, expressed his thoughts on the Iran situation to then-Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson — the front-runner to replace Prime Minister Theresa May as Conservative Party leader. He wrote that Trump withdrew the U.S. from the 2015 agreement for "personality reasons" as it was the former president's pact.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Jul 14, 2019

Johnson won't say if he'd keep ambassador to U.S. on if he becomes PM

Boris Johnson during the Conservative Party leadership debate. Photo: Matt Frost/ITV via Getty Images

Boris Johnson repeatedly evaded answering leadership debate questions Tuesday on whether he'd keep the British ambassador to the U.S. in office if he becomes prime minister this month, following the leak of cables criticizing President Trump.

The big picture: During the debate, Johnson's rival, U.K. Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt, reiterated he'd keep Kim Darroch in his post until December, when he's due to retire — despite Trump saying he'd "no longer deal" with him. Johnson, the front-runner to replace Prime Minister Theresa May as Conservative Party leader, said he's "not going to be so presumptuous" on what date Darroch leaves his job.

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

Keep ReadingArrowJul 10, 2019