Kim Darroch, the British High Commissioner to the United States, has criticised President Donald Trump as “incompetent” and headed towards a disgraceful end in a series of diplomatic cables published by the Daily Mail on Sunday.
Mr Darroch sent the stinging criticisms in the form of cables and briefing notes to his bosses back at the Home Office in London between 2017 and this month, the newspaper reported.
He chastised Mr Trump’s government as “uniquely dysfunctional” and regularly engages in “knife fights,” warning that the administration could end in “disgrace.”
The Home Office did not dispute the accuracy of the memos but said they were nothing unusual as all countries expect their ambassadors to provide a honest assessment of the situation in their host countries.
The department also said Mr Darroch’s messages were his personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect the position of the UK government and its policies.
Mr Darroch, 65, a former national security adviser to the U.K. government and a career diplomat, has been the UK’s man in Washington since January 2016. The memos were released ahead of a national security council event on the relationship between both countries.
The Mail on Sunday also reported that Mr Darroch did not rule out Mr Trump being indebted to “dodgy Russians,” but added that the president had frequently overcome a life “mired by scandal.”
Mr Trump strongly denied ties to Russia, and a special inquiry did not find him culpable in the alleged Russian interference in the U.S. 2016 elections that brought Mr Trump to power.
Mr Trump may “emerge from the flames, battered but intact, like [Arnold] Schwarzenegger in the final scenes of ‘The Terminator,’” Mr Darroch further said. “Do not write him off.”
The leak emerged a month after Mr Trump was hosted to a state dinner in early June by Queen Elizabeth II and Prime Minister Theresa May.
Mr Darroch said Mr Trump and his team had been “dazzled” by the high-profile visit despite remaining self-interested.
The Foreign Office said in a statement to the U.K. Press Association that “the British public would expect our ambassadors to provide ministers with an honest, unvarnished assessment of the politics in their country.”
The comments by ambassadors are “not necessarily” the views of the government, the office said.
The White House and the British Embassy in Washington have not issued any statement about the leaks.