Britain’s Ambassador to Washington has described Donald Trump as ‘inept’, ‘insecure’ and ‘incompetent’ in a series of memos to Downing Street, according to a report by the Daily Mail. The obtained memos detail Sir Kim Darroch’s assessments of the Trump administration from 2017 to the present.
The British diplomat described the White House as ‘uniquely dysfunctional’ and claimed that the US President’s career could end in ‘disgrace’.
The Daily Mail article says:
“In the memos, seen by The Mail on Sunday following an unprecedented leak, Sir Kim:
- Describes bitter conflicts within Trump’s White House – verified by his own sources – as ‘knife fights’;
- Warns that Trump could have been indebted to ‘dodgy Russians’;
- Claims the President’s economic policies could wreck the world trade system;
- Says the scandal-hit Presidency could ‘crash and burn’ and that ‘we could be at the beginning of a downward spiral… that leads to disgrace and downfall’;
- Voices fears that Trump could still attack Iran.
In one of the most sensitive documents, Sir Kim writes: ‘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.‘
He also says that he doesn’t think Trump’s White House will ‘ever look competent’.
In reference to Trump’s ability to shrug off controversies in a life which has been ‘mired in scandal’, he says that the President may nonetheless ’emerge from the flames, battered but intact, like [Arnold] Schwarzenegger in the final scenes of The Terminator’.“
According to the report, the memos seen by the daily span the period from 2017 to the present, covering everything from Trump’s policy in the Middle East to his 2020 re-election plans.
“The most incendiary paper is a letter to National Security Adviser Sir Mark Sedwill sent on June 22, 2017 – 150 days into the Trump administration – and copied to what Sir Kim describes as a ‘strictly limited’ number of senior figures in Downing Street and the Foreign Office.
The document, sent ahead of a National Security Council discussion on the UK-US relationship, paints a damning picture of the President’s personality and leadership style.
It says media reports of ‘vicious infighting and chaos’ inside the White House – dismissed by Trump as ‘fake news’ – are ‘mostly true’.
And referring to allegations of collusion between the Trump camp and Russia – since largely disproved – the memo says: ‘The worst cannot be ruled out.’
The cache also includes diplomatic telegrams – known as ‘DipTel’ in Foreign Office jargon – updating Downing Street on political events in the US and providing commentary on Trump’s foreign policy decisions.
They reveal details of highly sensitive negotiations over efforts to curb Iran’s nuclear weapons programme, as well as the disarray surrounding the President’s handling of recent attacks on oil tankers in the Strait of Hormuz.
One memo, sent by Sir Kim on June 22, refers to ‘incoherent, chaotic’ US-Iran policy, adding: ‘Its unlikely that US policy on Iran is going to become more coherent any time soon. This is a divided Administration’.
He questioned Trump’s recent claim that he aborted a missile strike on Iran because it would have caused a predicted 150 casualties, saying it ‘doesn’t stand up’.
‘It’s more likely that he was never fully on board and that he was worried about how this apparent reversal of his 2016 campaign promises would look come 2020’ – at the next Presidential election.
Another memo, sent on June 10, warns of tensions ahead over Brexit: ‘As we advance our agenda of deepening and strengthening trading arrangements, divergences of approach on climate change, media freedoms and the death penalty may come to the fore.'”
The Foreign Office confirmed the memos existence and announced that it had launched a formal leak investigation.
“This was a personal view. It’s not the view of the British government. It’s not my view,” Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said of the leaked memos.
So, now we know how really the British diplomats see their partners in Washington.
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