UK rejects Trump's request to make Brexit leader new ambassador

UK rejects Trump's request to make Brexit leader new ambassador
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President-elect Donald Trump appears to have unintentionally undermined diplomatic niceties with the British government with a request that anti-European Union leader Nigel Farage be the next ambassador to the United States.

Trump suggested in a tweet Monday that Farage, the interim leader of the nationalist and anti-immigrant U.K. Independence Party and the leading figure behind the country’s withdrawal from the E.U., be the next ambassador to the U.S.

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“He would do a great job!” the president-elect promised.

London, however, had other plans.

There is no vacancy for that position,” British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said in Parliament on Tuesday.

Kim Darroch took on the role of ambassador the U.S. in January, after a three-decade diplomatic career.

Ambassadorships between Britain and the U.S. are some of the most important diplomatic posts for the two nations, who are bound by a “special relationship” and are among each other’s most dependable allies.

Trump's request for Farage, a somewhat fringe political figure in the U.K., is out of the ordinary. But it is in keeping with a kinship between the pair, who have both ridden tides of populist nationalism to achieve unexpected political ends.

During the campaign, Trump repeatedly promised that his own success would mirror the so-called "Brexit" referendum that saw Great Britain announce a departure from the E.U.

Farage met with Trump at Trump Tower in the days after his shock election this month, before the president-elect met with a single European head of state. Farage has also suggested he might play a sort of intermediary role for the U.S. and British governments, though Prime Minister Theresa May quickly shot that suggestion down.

In response to Trump’s tweet, Conservative Member of Parliament Simon Burns jokingly suggested that the U.S. appoint Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham Clinton2016 pollsters erred by not weighing education on state level, says political analyst Could President Trump's talk of a 'red wave' cause his supporters to stay home in midterms? Dem group targets Trump in M voter registration campaign: report MORE, Trump’s former rival, as new ambassador to London.

The late Monday tweet is not the first time Trump has appeared to break tradition with Britain.

During a congratulatory call with May after his election, Trump reportedly told the prime minister: “If you travel to the U.S., you should let me know.”

Visits from foreign heads of government are typically elaborately choreographed affairs, and those in the early stages of a new president’s term are often carefully calculated to send signals about their global priorities.

Trump’s seemingly off-the-cuff invitation reportedly baffled officials at 10 Downing Street.