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British Ambassador to U.S. Resigns after Leak of Cables Criticizing Trump Administration

Kim Darroch at the White House in Washington, D.C., January 27, 2017. (Carlos Barria/Reuters)

The British ambassador to the U.S. stepped down Wednesday amid controversy over leaked cables in which he harshly criticized the Trump administration.

Sir Kim Darroch became the object of heavy criticism from the president over the weekend after the leak of private messages to Parliament in which he calls the administration “unpredictable,” “inept,” and “uniquely dysfunctional,” and the president himself “insecure.” The messages also wondered whether the administration would fall in “disgrace” and mused on whether Trump may be indebted to “dodgy Russians.”

“We could be at the beginning of a downward spiral . . . that leads to disgrace and downfall,” the ambassador wrote.

Trump returned fire after the criticisms were leaked, calling the British ambassador a “pompous fool,” “wacky,” and “a very stupid guy.” The president added that his administration would refuse to work with Darroch, which may have forced the ambassador’s hand.

“I do not know the Ambassador, but he is not liked or well thought of within the U.S. We will no longer deal with him,” Trump wrote Monday on Twitter.” The good news for the wonderful United Kingdom is that they will soon have a new Prime Minister.”

“The current situation is making it impossible for me to carry out my role as I would like,” Darrock wrote in his resignation letter to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

Prime Minister Theresa May, who in May announced plans to resign herself, said in statements to Parliament Wednesday that “Sir Kim has given a lifetime of service to the United Kingdom and we owe him an enormous debt of gratitude,” and it is a “matter of great regret that he has felt it necessary to leave his position.” But May’s office also said in another statement Wednesday that Darroch’s comments “do not reflect the closeness of, and the esteem in which we hold, the relationship” between the two countries.

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