U.K. PM Theresa May stands by Ambassador Sir Kim Darroch after leaked cables bash Trump

May stands by Kim Darroch after leaked cables

Leaked cables revealed United Kingdom Ambassador Kim Darroch criticizing President Trump and his administration, causing a diplomatic rift between the allied nations and a personal rebuke from Mr. Trump -- but Prime Minister Theresa May is standing by her envoy. 

"We have made clear to the U.S. how unfortunate this leak is. The selective extracts leaked do not reflect the closeness of, and the esteem in which we hold, the relationship," a spokesperson for May said in a written statement. "At the same time, we have also underlined the importance of Ambassadors being able to provide honest, unvarnished assessments of the politics in their country. Sir Kim Darroch continues to have the Prime Minister's full support."

"The U.K. has a special and enduring relationship with the U.S. based on our long history and commitment to shared values and that will continue to be the case," the spokesperson said.

Britain's International Trade Minister Liam Fox, on a visit to Washington this week, said he would personally apologize to Mr. Trump's daughter and adviser Ivanka Trump for the "malicious" leak, which he noted could "damage" the trans-Atlantic relationship and "therefore affect our wider security interest."

In the leaked cables, Darroch said Mr. Trump "radiates insecurity," and said his team 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." 

U.K. ambassador to U.S. criticizes Trump administration in leaked memos

The British government has launched an investigation into who leaked the memos.

President Trump responded Monday on Twitter, writing that the ambassador "is not liked... or well thought of within the U.S. We will no longer deal with him." Monday night, Darroch was uninvited from a dinner the president was attending.

The president doubled down on Tuesday, labeling Darroch "wacky" and "a very stupid guy" on Twitter. "I don't know the Ambassador but have been told he is a pompous fool," Trump added, after lambasting Darroch and May for the chaos of Brexit. 

The rift comes at a critical time; the U.S. and U.K. are trying to present a united front in the face of mounting tension with Iran, which on Monday further exceeded limits set by the nuclear deal which Mr. Trump pulled the U.S. out of last year. The remaining parties to the deal -- most crucially from Iran's standpoint, the Europeans -- have been trying to get Iran to stay in the agreement.

It also comes at a time of tremendous political uncertainty for Britain, with the U.K. set to "Brexit" from the European Union later this year. The divorce from the European bloc has divided British society and forced Prime Minister May to announce her resignation. If Brexit happens as scheduled at the end of October, or at any time, Britain -- a relatively small economy without the collective bargaining power of the EU community behind it -- will be forced to negotiate new trade deals around the globe.