After the resignation of Britain Ambassador Kim Darroch on Wednesday, the spines of foreign diplomats in Washington have become weaker. The ambassador resigned after diplomatic cable leaks where he described the Trump administration as “inept” and “dysfunctional,”. After that President, Donald Trump made a tweet, in which he called the ambassador a “pompous fool” with whom the United States would no longer work.
Following Darroch’s resignation, a discussion has been started in embassies about scaling back access to diplomatic cables and moderating the tone of assessments about the Trump administration’s handling of global and domestic affairs.
One European diplomat says, “I think we’re all shocked, frankly, by what happened to Kim.” He added that “It shows we have to remain careful in how we explain things to our capitals and how we share information within our own system. I know I’ve sent cables of a similar nature.”
The head of the British diplomatic service, Simon McDonald told Britain’s Foreign Affairs Select Committee on Wednesday, “The basis on which we have worked all our careers suddenly feels as if it is challenged.”
“There is a need for reassurance and reflection,” he added. “You were simply doing your job,” McDonald told Darroch in response to his resignation letter. Darroch in his exit note said, “the current situation is making it impossible for me to carry out my role as I would like.”
Presenting a similar view, a Latin American diplomat stated, “I’m a little old-fashioned. I would not employ such language.”
“What we normally do – at least we used to – is to take the opinions you read in the news, the people you talk to . . . and say, ‘look, opinion makers in Washington reflect’ whatever it is you want to say. . . . But you never so directly put it in your own words. That was a little too strong for me,” he claimed.
Darroch’s quitting has created an awkward situation for Trump loyalists. For instance, Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham publically lamented saying, “Kim Darroch did an outstanding job as Ambassador and sorry to see he has resigned his post.”