Diplomatic Briefing

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Archive for July 8, 2019

Newsline: Trump fires back at UK ambassador who attacked him

President Trump pulled no punches in condemning Britain’s ambassador to the United States on July 7, saying “we are not big fans of that man” and asserting that he has “not served the U.K. well,” after a leaked diplomatic cable showed the ambassador secretly slamming the White House. Ambassador Kim Darroch described the Trump administration as “diplomatically clumsy and inept” and said he doubted it would become “substantially more normal,” according to the cable. (https://www.foxnews.com/politics/trump-uk-ambassador-leaked-cables-not-big-fans-of-that-man) The memo was one of several documents published by the Mail on Sunday in which Darroch apparently made highly negative statements about the government of Britain’s closest ally. “We’ve had our little ins and outs with a couple of countries, and I would say that the U.K. — their ambassador has not served the U.K. well, I can tell you that,” Trump told reporters. “We are not big fans of that man, and he has not served the U.K. well. So, I can understand it and I can say things about him, but I won’t bother.” Britain’s Foreign Office did not challenge the authenticity of the leaked documents, which covered the period of 2017 to the present, and came to Darroch’s defense. It called the leak “mischievous behavior” and said the public has expected diplomats to provide honest assessments of the politics in the countries where they’re posted. The Foreign Office said the leaks would not harm the productive relationship between the British government and the Trump White House. A formal investigation of the leak may be set in motion in the coming days. The State Department declined to comment on the ambassador’s comments. It is customary for senior British diplomats posted overseas to file straightforward memos to senior ministers and security services analysts back home so political trends and possible threats to British interests could be gauged, but it’s unusual for a large number of them to be made public.

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Newsline: Israel’s embassy blurs lobster in envoy’s lunch with Brazil’s president

Israel’s embassy in Brazil shared a photo of its ambassador eating lunch with Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, but not before blurring out the lobster dishes the two appeared to be enjoying. (https://www.jta.org/quick-reads/israels-ambassador-camouflages-pricey-non-kosher-meal-with-brazilian-president) The camouflaged picture made headlines in Brazil, with local media noting that the crustacean is an expensive delicacy and international media noting it is decidedly non-kosher. Black smudges blur what appear to be lobsters from a picture posted on social media on Sunday of Ambassador Yossi Shelley having lunch with Bolsonaro.