President TrumpDonald TrumpKinzinger says Trump 'winning' because so many Republicans 'have remained silent' Our remote warfare counterterrorism strategy is more risk than reward Far-right rally draws small crowd, large police presence at Capitol MORE on Friday offered praise for the former British ambassador to the U.S. days after he essentially forced Kim Darroch’s resignation by freezing him out of the White House.
Darroch announced Wednesday he would leave his post, saying his position became untenable after leaked cables showed he criticized Trump as “inept.” Trump responded by bashing him as a “very stupid guy” and a “pompous fool.”
“Well, I wish the British ambassador well. Some people just told me — too bad, but they said he actually said very good things about me,” the president said.
Trump’s abrupt change in tune came after other cables became public that revealed Darroch likened Trump to Arnold Schwarzenegger’s character in “The Terminator,” saying he “may emerge from the flames, battered but intact” during his run for reelection.
The president on Thursday retweeted the excerpt, which had been shared by Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by National Industries for the Blind - Tight security for Capitol rally; Biden agenda slows Trump offers sympathy for those charged with Jan. 6 offenses Lindsey Graham: Police need 'to take a firm line' with Sept. 18 rally attendees MORE (R-S.C.) who said that Darroch “understood the strength of President Trump and referred to him as the ‘Terminator’ who is indestructible and will most likely be reelected.”
“I guess I quoted Lindsey Graham today, he said some things that were pretty nice from the British ambassador,” Trump told reporters, who added that the British government has to “stop their leaking problems.”
The leak of secret cables, combined with Darroch’s resignation, ramped up tensions between the U.S. and U.K, who have long claimed to have a “special relationship” among allies.
Simon McDonald, the head of the British Foreign Office, said it was the first time in his nearly four-decade career that a head of state refused to work with a British ambassador.
Darroch’s blunt assessment of the president and his administration appeared in memos intended for a private audience of ministers and other top officials in London, but they were published last Sunday by a U.K. newspaper.
Trump’s anger with the ambassador’s comments compounded divisions emerging between the U.S. and U.K. governments over Britain's handling of its exit from the European Union as well as the 2015 nuclear agreement with Iran.
The president declared he would no longer work with Darroch and disinvited him from a dinner with the emir of Qatar in Washington. Trump also accused outgoing British Prime Minister Theresa MayTheresa Mary MayOvernight Defense: Pentagon chief defends Milley after Trump book criticism | Addresses critical race theory | Top general says Taliban has 'strategic momentum' in war Will Ocasio-Cortez challenge Biden or Harris in 2024? The Hill's Morning Report - Biden takes office, calls for end to 'uncivil war' MORE of handing Brexit in a “foolish way.”