Donald Trump will “no longer deal” with the UK’s ambassador to the US and criticised Theresa May for making a “mess” of Brexit.
The US president’s attack on the UK prime minister and Sir Kim Darroch came after the leak of sensitive diplomatic memos detailing the “uniquely dysfunctional” and “inept” White House under Trump.
The documents reveal Darroch’s assessments of the Trump administration from 2017 to the present – and could prove highly embarrassing for the Foreign Office.
But No.10 stood by its diplomat, saying Darroch had the Prime Minister’s “full support”.
In an escalation of tensions, Trump tweeted: “I have been very critical about the way the UK and Prime Minister Theresa May handled Brexit. What a mess she and her representatives have created.
“I told her how it should be done, but she decided to go another way. I do not know the Ambassador, but he is not liked or well thought of within the US. 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. While I thoroughly enjoyed the magnificent State Visit last month, it was the Queen who I was most impressed with!”
A Downing Street spokesperson said: “We have made clear to the US how unfortunate this leak is. The selective extracts leaked do not reflect the closeness of, and the esteem in which we hold, the relationship.
“At the same time we have also underlined the importance of ambassadors being able to provide honest, unvarnished assessments of the politics in their country. Sir Kim Darroch continues to have the Prime Minister’s full support.
“The UK has a special and enduring relationship with the US based on our long history and commitment to shared values and that will continue to be the case.”
In the cache of documents, Sir Kim gives a scathing assessment of the White House: “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.”
He questioned whether the White House “will ever look competent”.
The diplomatic memos suggest that in order to communicate with the president “you need to make your points simple, even blunt”.
Following Trump’s state visit to the UK in June, Sir Kim warned that although the president had been “dazzled” by the pomp and ceremony of the trip, his administration would remain self-interested and “this is still the land of America First”.
In a particularly sensitive leak, a 2017 letter to the National Security Adviser Sir Mark Sedwill – sent 150 days into the Trump administration – laid bare the trouble in the White House.
Media reports of “vicious infighting and chaos” were “mostly true” despite the president’s attempts to brush them off.
In one of the most recent documents, Sir Kim refers to “incoherent, chaotic” US policy on Iran and questions Trump’s publicly stated reason for calling off a retaliatory air strike against Tehran following the downing of an American drone.