Over the weekend, confidential diplomatic cables from the United Kingdom’s ambassador to the United States, Kim Darroch, to officials back home were leaked to the press. They (accurately) described Trump as “inept,” “insecure,” and “incompetent”; Darroch also described Trump’s team as dysfunctional, unpredictable, and clumsy, and called its Iran policies “incoherent.”
All of this is very, very true, and nothing that could not be gleaned from a casual perusal of the news channels, so it’s not as if the U.K. ambassador was spilling secrets to his superiors. But it was also clear that the leak of those memos would send Donald J. Trump into a personal fit, because that is what he does. The man is indeed inept, insecure, and incompetent; having a good old-fashioned snit over people not treating him as the “supergenius” he believes himself to be is the man’s entire reason for being.
Trump’s retaliation was therefore swift, and, of course, broadly aimed. And, of course, tweet-based. On the Twitterz, he declared Monday that “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. The good news for the wonderful United Kingdom is that they will soon have a new Prime Minister.”
I never met you, and I’m never speaking to you again, and also nobody likes you is one of Donald Trump’s go-to insults when faced with an adversary. He borrowed it from Timmy, in Ms. Johnson’s third-grade class, and refuses to give it back. That he broadened it into an attack on the British prime minister is also par for the course.
Trump followed it up by disinviting the ambassador from that evening’s dinner with the emir of Qatar, which was no doubt a terrible blow because the U.K. ambassador was not able to rub elbows with such featured guests as prostitution-sting-famous sports team owner Robert Kraft while enjoying a meal in, and this is not a joke, the Treasury’s “Cash Room.”
The Trump reaction, then, will be to poutingly freeze out the ambassador of the United Kingdom until either he resigns his post or a new government replaces him. His tweet implies that he has barred Darroch from meeting with any members of his government, and to hell with the consequences.
We have now reached the point where we can be fairly confident of how Trump will respond to any situation: We can simply assume he will do the most childish, least dignified thing. We’ll never be wrong.