On Monday, Britain’s diplomatic staff offered Washington a sincere apology for the political damage caused by a leak of confidential memos. The United Kingdom’s ambassador to the U.S., Kim Darroch, slandered President Donald Trump’s administration, calling officials “dysfunctional” and “inept.”
As related by a spokesman for outgoing Prime Minister Theresa May, “contact has been made with the Trump administration, setting out our view that we believe the leak is unacceptable. It is, of course, a matter of regret that this has happened.”
They assure the world that they’re working right now to track down the mole. Authorities promise to throw the book at whoever it was that handed secret diplomatic documents over to a London newspaper.
The U.K.’s trade minister, Liam Fox, has a previously scheduled date to sit down with Ivanka Trump while he’s on a visit to Washington. He plans to use the opportunity to deliver Britain’s apology in person.
“I will be apologizing for the fact that either our civil service or elements of our political class have not lived up to the expectations that either we have or the United States has about their behavior, which in this particular case has lapsed in a most extraordinary and unacceptable way.”
Not only were the leaks “malicious,” Fox emphasizes, they were “unprofessional, unethical and unpatriotic.”
Leaks at any level are bad but when they come from the diplomatic corps, they have a huge impact on foreign relations. It “can actually lead to a damage to that relationship,” Fox notes, “which can therefore affect our wider security interest.” Not only the United States will be watching this closely. Other nations will be wondering what could come out in the press about their leaders. “This is such a damaging, potentially damaging, event, that I hope the full force of our internal discipline, or even the law, will come down on whoever actually carried out this particular act.”
President Trump took the whole fiasco in stride, and is handling it with pragmatic restraint, telling reporters, “we are not big fans of that man and he has not served the UK well, so I can understand and I can say things about him but I won’t bother.”
According to the leaked memos, some of which date back to President Trump’s very first days in office, the rumors of White House “in-fighting” were “mostly true.”
Starched British diplomats, with their private school grooming have a hard time understanding the unpolished casual ways of Americans. One of the biggest reasons President Trump was elected is because he was just another American citizen until he ran for office. He never was part of the political elite which have been running the show for decades.
Ambassador Darroch is convinced that we’re all a bunch of barbarians. “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.” In other words, we’re not “continental” enough. We settled that issue 243 years ago this month.
Not all British ministers have the same opinion. Jeremy Hunt, one of the two men most likely to replace Theresa May as Prime Minister, is one in particular who disagrees. “I have made it clear that I don’t share the ambassador’s assessment of either the U.S. administration or relations with the U.S. administration, but I do defend his right to make that frank assessment.” Opinions are opinions. It provides data on the table. How much weight is given to that data depends on deeper analysis.
1.00 Trump 2020 Tees
One thing is certain, whoever leaked is in serious trouble. “What we will not allow to happen is any interruption in the superb relationship that we have the United States, which is our closest ally around the world.”
A spokesman for the Prime Minister adds that “if there was evidence of criminality, then the police would be involved.”