Trump administration branded 'inept' and 'dysfunctional' by UK ambassador to US in leaked memos

Posted On: 
7th July 2019

Britain’s ambassador to the US branded Donald Trump’s administration “inept” and “dysfunctional”, and doubts it will "ever look competent" according to a series of leaked emails.

Sir Kim Darroch likened Mr Trump to the Terminator
Credit: 
PA Images

Sir Kim Darroch’s comments in reports to senior politicians in London said the controversial president's time in office could end in disgrace, but that he should not be written off.

In memos seen by the Mail on Sunday, the top UK diplomat likened scandal-hit Mr Trump to Arnold Schwarzenegger in The Terminator in that he is almost impossible to destroy.

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He said: “Trump may emerge from the flames, battered but intact, like Schwarzenegger in the final scenes of The Terminator.”

Sir Kim wrote: “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."

The leaked messages date from 2017 to that present day, and also show the ambassador’s view that media reports of the White House’s “vicious infighting and chaos” was “mostly true”.

“The stories about White House knife fights are, we judge, mostly true: multiple sources and confirmed by our own White House contacts,” he added.

“This is a uniquely dysfunctional environment.”

He also warned Whitehall to be braced for further attacks of “immoderate, sometimes offensive, language” like his spats with London Mayor Sadiq Khan as “there is no filter”.

Sir Kim said: “And we could also be at the beginning of a downward spiral, rather than just a rollercoaster: something could emerge that leads to disgrace and downfall.”

On allegations of collusion between Russia and the Trump camp he also warned “the worst cannot be ruled out”, but the following Robert Mueller investigation has since said the claims are not proven.

Despite the scathing attack on the president’s time in office, Sir Kim said it was still a “credible path” for Mr Trump to win the next election, with much of it riding on who the Democrats choose to stand against him.

A Foreign Office spokesperson told the Mail on Sunday: “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.”