In another awkward moment for international diplomacy, leaked diplomatic cables from the United Kingdom’s ambassador to the United States, Kim Darroch, to senior officials back home show that the U.K. official relayed less-than-flattering assessments of global buffoon Donald Trump. This is, presumably, a product of the ambassador not being stupid. You do not need extensive diplomatic experience to deduce that the Diet Coke-swilling television-addicted failson golf aficionado currently taking up space in the Oval Office is, in fact, bad; a top diplomat would be very much expected to provide such assessments.
But those reports are generally kept under wraps, for obvious reasons. It’s one thing to (correctly) warn your government that the current “president” of the United States is “inept,” “insecure,” and “incompetent”; it’s another to have that evaluation blare out in international news pages. Amongst the highlights of Darroch’s 2017-2019 memos, as described by the Daily Mail: “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.”
Darroch also noted “vicious infighting and chaos” in the White House, called Trump’s Iran policy “incoherent,” and warned that Trump might possibly be in debt to “dodgy Russians.” He also advised his government that Trump is not, in conversations, a skilled expert in the use of his own earholes: “You need to make your points simple, even blunt.”
So yes, it seems the ambassador has a good handle on things here. And none of it is exactly secret information.
The only real problem, then, is how idiot manchild Donald Trump will react to the leak. The man is grievance-based to the exclusion of all else; he was flattered by the pomp and borrowed dignity of his recent visit to the United Kingdom, and the mere hint that his hosts’ politeness masked widespread contempt would eat down to the core of his insecurities.
The United Kingdom is, therefore, playing down the leaks. The Mail quotes a Foreign Office spokesman as noting that the views of an ambassador are “not necessarily the views of Ministers or indeed the Government.” Even if “we pay them to be candid.”
Hopefully that will head off new and pointedly targeted tariffs, or another round of NATO-bashing, or a 15-minute monologue at Trump’s next rally about the general ickiness of Europe and how we need to make America more Great so the voices in his head (and on the teevee) stop laughing at him. Or not. It’s anybody’s guess.