Leaked Diplomatic Cable Sparks Row between US and UK 🇺🇸 🇬🇧

Paul Morigi / Getty Images

Paul Morigi / Getty Images

Frosty relations from the start

The US and UK have enjoyed a “special relationship” due to their unique history, with historian Paul Johnson calling it the "cornerstone of the modern, democratic world order." However, in recent years, US President Trump has taken jabs at London Mayor Sadiq Khan and UK Prime Minister Theresa May, while many in the UK have trolled Trump. Mainstream British media have not been as welcoming to Trump as some outlets in the US.

Leaked cables

Over the weekend, it was reported that classified diplomatic cables from UK’s current Ambassador to the US, Sir Kim Darroch, described the White House as “uniquely dysfunctional,” further writing that President Trump was “inept” and “insecure,” and warned that his administration could collapse in “disgrace.” The UK’s Foreign Ministry did not rebuke the substance of the cables. Trump responded by saying, “We are not big fans of that man.”


Fox News: Trump fires back at UK ambassador who attacked him: 'We are not big fans of that man'

New York Post: Trump admin ‘not big fans’ of UK ambassador who called WH ‘inept’

Outlets on the right also choose to selectively report the news; however, they do so by opting to focus on Trump’s rebuke of Ambassador Darroch and not providing the same coverage of Darroch’s comments. By using this approach, the right also comes off as one-sided and as not presenting all of the facts in order to portray Trump as the strongman standing up to criticism. 


Washington Post: In leaked cables, British ambassador calls Trump ‘inept’ and ‘insecure’

Huffington Post: British Ambassador To U.S. Describes ‘Inept’ Donald Trump In Leaked Memos: Report

Outlets on the left use their headlines selectively to primarily quote Ambassador Darroch calling Trump “inept." These outlets do not choose to cover Trump’s response equally. In so-doing, the left comes off as one-sided by portraying Trump as Darroch believes, without giving even coverage of the rebuke.

Where's the common ground?

The UK is in a state of political gridlock, what with the never-ending saga that is Brexit, a Prime Minister that’s stepping down, and a likely successor that is polarizing and has also been strongly criticized concerning his suitability for the top job in the UK. Trump is also facing a persistent approval rating below 50%, a year and a half ahead of the next election. Clearly, both countries have visible internal challenges, and the revelations written in secret cables fan these flames. 

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