British Government Stands Behind Ambassador Who Called Donald Trump 'Incompetent' and 'Insecure'

A spokesperson for the British government has defended the country's ambassador to the U.S. after leaked cables revealed that the diplomat had called President Donald Trump "inept," "insecure" and "incompetent," saying that the White House was "uniquely dysfunctional" under the current administration.

British tabloid The Daily Mail first reported the comments by Ambassador Kim Darroch on Saturday and they were later confirmed by CNN. Responding publicly with an official statement, a spokesperson for the United Kingdom's Foreign and Commonwealth Office argued that the diplomat had acted correctly in providing an "honest" assessment of the current American administration.

"The British public would expect our ambassadors to provide ministers with an honest, unvarnished assessment of the politics in their country," the spokesperson said, Politico reported Sunday. "Their views are not necessarily the views of ministers or indeed the government. But we pay them to be candid. Just as the U.S. Ambassador here will send back his reading of Westminster politics and personalities."

Donald Trump
President Donald Trump speaks during a bilateral meeting with Britain's Prime Minister on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting in Davos, eastern Switzerland on January 25, 2018 NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP

British Justice Secretary David Guake also defended the diplomat's remarks but criticized the leak to the public. He said it is important for ambassadors to provide "honest and unvarnished advice to their country," according to the BBC. Continuing, he said: "It is disgraceful that it's been leaked, but we should expect our ambassadors to tell the truth, as they see it."

The secret memos from the ambassador were sent directly to the prime minister's residence at 10 Downing Street in London. In the documents, Darroch expressed significant skepticism that the Trump administration would ever become "substantially more normal; less dysfunctional; less unpredictable; less faction riven; less diplomatically clumsy and inept."

He also pointed out that Trump has been unsuccessful at achieving many of his controversial campaign promises despite dramatic and public efforts to do so.

"Of the main campaign promises, not an inch of the Wall has been built; the executive orders on travel bans from Muslim countries have been blocked by the state courts; tax reform and the infrastructure package have been pushed into the middle distance; and the repeal and replacement of Obamacare is on a knife edge," Darroch pointed out.

Kim Darroch
British Ambassador to the U.S. Kim Darroch speaks during an annual dinner of the National Economists Club at the British Embassy on October 20, 2017 in Washington, D.C. Alex Wong/Getty

The prominent diplomat also criticized Trump's policy toward Iran, referring to it as "incoherent, chaotic."

The U.K. and the U.S. have for decades enjoyed a so-called "special relationship," with both nations supporting each other on the international stage as close allies. Under Trump, that relationship has been strained on a few issues, including the president's decision to withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord and the Iran nuclear deal. British leaders have been highly critical of both decisions, while insisting that ties remain close with Washington.

Right-wing British politician Nigel Farage, who leads the Brexit party and has often praised Trump, slammed Darroch for the derogatory remarks. He argued on Twitter that the ambassador was "totally unsuitable for the job" and that the "sooner he is gone the better."