- Foreign ambassadors told The New York Times that the diplomatic community in Washington, DC, concurs with the withering assessment of the Trump administration provided by former UK ambassador Sir Kim Darroch in leaked diplomatic cables.
- “It could have been any of us,” one serving ambassador told The Times after Darroch’s resignation on Wednesday.
- In the leaked cables, Darroch described the Trump administration as “clumsy and inept.”
- A former US diplomat said Trump’s public attacks on Darroch could place US diplomats abroad in danger.
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Current and former ambassadors told The New York Times that former British ambassador Sir Kim Darroch’s withering assessment of the Trump administration is a view shared by many diplomats in Washington.
One serving ambassador who spoke with The Times on the condition of anonymity said of the leaked memo that ultimately led to Darroch’s resignation: “It could have been any of us.”
Darroch on Wednesday resigned after coming under public attack from Trump, who ridiculed him as “wacky” and “a very stupid guy” in a tweet and said the White House would refuse to have any dealings with him.
In leaked cables published by the Daily Mail on Sunday, Darroch had provided a negative assessment of the Trump administration, which he described as “clumsy and inept,” and said the president “radiates insecurity.”
One former ambassador confirmed that other foreign ambassadors have the same view of Trump’s presidency as Darroch.
“Yes, yes, everyone does,” Gérard Araud, the former French ambassador to the US who left his post in April, told the publication. “But fortunately I knew that nothing would remain secret, so I sent them in a most confidential manner.”
He went on to describe the unique difficulties foreign officials have encountered in dealing with Trump.
“It’s what happens when a populist leader takes command in a liberal democracy. These people don’t recognise or accept the idea that an ambassador or a bureaucrat could be of any use. They only want to deal with other leaders,” he said.
Darroch’s resignation on Wednesday and Trump’s public ridiculing of him have sent shockwaves through the diplomatic community in Washington, DC.
In his resignation letter, Darroch said the leaked cables made his position untenable.
“The current situation is making it impossible for me to carry out my role as I would like,” he wrote.
Brett Bruen, a former US diplomat and the director of global engagement under the Obama administration, said Trump’s actions could even place US diplomats in danger.
“I worked in countries where the leaders didn’t like what we said about human rights & democracy,” Bruen tweeted on Wednesday.
“Trump has now given them the precedence for publicly insulting and punishing ambassadors for what they say about how they govern, even privately,” he added.