Monday, July 8, 2019

British government defends ambassador who called Trump 'inept' and 'incompetent'

The British government is defending its ambassador to the United States following reports that he described President Trump as "inept" and "incompetent" in memos sent to the British Foreign Commonwealth Office.

"The British public would expect our ambassadors to provide ministers with an honest, unvarnished assessment of the politics in their country," a spokesperson for the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office said in a statement Saturday, according to reports.

"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."

"Of course we would expect such advice to be handled by ministers and civil servants in the right way and it's important that our ambassadors can offer their advice and for it remain confidential," the spokesperson continued, adding that Britain's "team in Washington have strong relations with the White House and no doubt that these will withstand such mischievous behavior."

The spokesperson did not address some of the statements Ambassador Kim Darroch reportedly made.

The Daily Mail first reported Saturday that Darroch made disparaging remarks about Trump in a series of secret diplomatic cables between 2017 and now. CNN later confirmed the report.