UK Ambassador to the US Kim Darroch Resigns After Criticizing Trump

Zachary Stieber
By Zachary Stieber
July 10, 2019USshare
UK Ambassador to the US Kim Darroch Resigns After Criticizing Trump
President Donald Trump (L) speaks about his administration's environmental policies at the White House on July 8, 2019. (Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images); Ambassador Kim Darroch speaks to guests during the Capitol File 2017 WHCD Welcome Reception at the British Ambassador's Residence in Washington on April 28, 2017. (Riccardo Savi/Getty Images for Capitol File Magazine)

The British ambassador to the United States has resigned days after memos leaked showing him criticizing the administration of President Donald Trump.

The leaked cables, which were widely circulated in the press in both countries, showed Kim Darroch claiming Trump “radiates insecurity.”

Darroch also said team members at the British Embassy in Washington “don’t really believe Trump’s administration is going to become substantially more normal; less dysfunctional; … less diplomatically clumsy and inept.”

Darroch said in a letter on July 10 that “the current situation is making it impossible for me to carry out my role as I would like.”

“Since the leak of official documents from this Embassy there has been a great deal of speculation surrounding my position and the duration of my remaining term as ambassador,” Darroch wrote. “I want to put an end to that speculation.”

“Although my posting is not due to end until the end of this year, I believe in the current circumstances the responsible course is to allow the appointment of a new ambassador,” he added.

“I am grateful to all those in the UK and the US, who have offered their support during this difficult few days. This has brought home to me the depth of friendship and close ties between our two countries. I have been deeply touched.”

The letter was sent to Simon McDonald, the senior official at the Foreign Office.

McDonald responded by saying he accepted the resignation before praising Darroch for behaving during aftermath of the leak “as you have always behaved over a long and distinguished career, with dignity, professionalism, and class.”

“The prime minister, foreign secretary and whole of the public service have stood with you: you were the target of a malicious leak; you were simply doing your job,” McDonald added.

Reacting to the news at the House of Commons, Prime Minister Theresa May praised Darroch for “a lifetime of service to the United Kingdom.”

“We owe him an enormous debt of gratitude. I hope the house will reflect on the importance of defending our values and principles particularly when they are under pressure,” she added.

President Trump had publicly reacted to Darroch’s criticism of his administration, writing on July 9, “The wacky Ambassador that the U.K. foisted upon the United States is not someone we are thrilled with, a very stupid guy.”

The president also called Darroch “a pompous fool.”

May had previously said she had “full faith” in Darroch, saying that the ambassador’s job was “to provide honest and unvarnished opinions.”

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