Britain’s Ambassador to Washington has described Donald Trump as ‘inept’, ‘insecure’ and ‘incompetent’ in a series of explosive memos to Downing Street.
Sir Kim Darroch, one of Britain’s top diplomats, used secret cables and briefing notes to impugn Trump’s character, warning London that the White House was ‘uniquely dysfunctional’ and that the President’s career could end in ‘disgrace’.
His bombshell comments risk angering the notoriously thin-skinned Trump and undermining the UK’s ‘special relationship’ with America.
In the memos, seen by The Mail 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 Trump may nonetheless ’emerge from the flames, battered but intact, like [Arnold] Schwarzenegger in the final scenes of The Terminator’.
He warns senior politicians in London: ‘Do not write him off.’
The leak is embarrassingly timed for the British Government, coming just weeks after the Queen welcomed Trump and his family with a 41-gun salute and a State banquet at Buckingham Palace as part of a diplomatic drive to secure a post-Brexit free-trade deal.
In a memo sent after the visit, Sir Kim warned that while Trump and his team had been ‘dazzled’ by the visit, and the UK might be ‘flavour of the month’, Trump’s White House remained self-interested: ‘This is still the land of America First’.
The Washington Files span the period from 2017 to the present, covering everything from Trump’s policy in the Middle East to his 2020 re-election plans.
One account of a Trump rally says that there is a ‘credible path’ for Trump to win a second term in the White House – but describes the crowd as ‘almost exclusively white’.
In what is likely to be regarded as a patronizing passage in the cache, officials in London are told that in order to deal with Trump effectively ‘you need to make your points simple, even blunt’.
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 Trump’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 leak of diplomatic cables is extremely unusual and will raise new questions about morale in the Civil Service.
Darroch, who became British Ambassador to Washington in January 2016, is a former UK Permanent Representative to the EU and widely regarded as a europhile.
The Foreign Office last night said that the British public ‘would expect our Ambassadors to provide Ministers with an honest, unvarnished assessment of the politics in their countries’.
A spokesman added: ‘Their views are not necessarily the views of Ministers or indeed the Government. But we pay them to be candid, just as the US 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.
‘Our team in Washington have strong relations with the White House and no doubt that these will withstand such mischievous behaviour.’
His stark assessment reveals the scale of concern at the highest level in the British Government about Trump.
In language that is likely to prove highly embarrassing for Sir Kim, the Ambassador declared: ‘For a man who has risen to the highest office on the planet, President Trump radiates insecurity.’
Attribution:The Daily Mail