Theresa May Rejects Trump Criticism as Police Investigate Cable Leaks

British Prime Minister Theresa May, center, looks over toward President Donald Trump during their joint news conference at Chequers, in Buckinghamshire, England, Friday, July 13, 2018. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais

Theresa May has backed the UK’s ambassador to the U.S. by declaring her “full support” for the diplomat as police confirm they have been asked to begin a criminal investigation into damning diplomatic cable leaks.

Mrs May’s public show of faith in the UK’s top representative in Washington comes President Donald Trump delivered a withering assessment of Sir Kim on Monday, adding Brexit negotiations are a “mess.”

London has been scrambling to soften the blow delivered by leaked confidential telegrams in which its envoy described the U.S. leader as “inept” and his White House as “uniquely dysfunctional.”

Number 10 called the leak “unfortunate” and said the UK and U.S. still shared a “special and enduring” relationship.

Visibly angered by May’s continuing support for her ambassador, Trump attacked the prime minister over her handling of stumbling Brexit negotiations, and readied to farewell her from office.

“What a mess she and her representatives have created,” Trump said in a series of tweets. “I told her how it should be done, but she decided to go another way.”

“The good news for the wonderful United Kingdom is that they will soon have a new Prime Minister,” he wrote.

Downing Street responded by saying Sir Kim “continues to have the prime minister’s full support”.

A spokesperson added: “We have made clear to the U.S. how unfortunate this leak is. The selective extracts leaked do not reflect the closeness of, and the esteem in which we hold, the relationship.

“At the same time we have also underlined the importance of ambassadors being able to provide honest, unvarnished assessments of the politics in their country.”

Police were urged to open a criminal investigation into the leak in addition to an internal inquiry launched by the government.

Tom Tugendhat, chairman of the foreign affairs committee, told MPs he had made the request in a letter to the Metropolitan Police.

The Metropolitan Police said it had received Mr Tugendhat’s request but had not received an official governmental referral of allegations in relation to the Official Secrets Act.

AFP contributed to this story

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