President Trump announced Monday that the U.S. will "no longer deal" with the British ambassador to the United States, after leaked diplomatic cables showed the ambassador secretly slamming Trump in frank and personal terms.
The extraordinary development seemingly rendered Britain's representative to the U.S. a persona non grata for the first time in more than a century. And it came amid reports that the ambassador, Kim Darroch, is actually popular among some White House officials.
"I do not know the Ambassador, but he is not liked or well thought of within the U.S.," Trump wrote on Twitter. "We will no longer deal with him."
On Sunday, Trump called Darroch ineffective and implied he wasn't even worth responding to.
"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."
Trump also tweeted Monday: "I have been very critical about the way the U.K. and Prime Minister Theresa May handled Brexit. What a mess she and her representatives have created. I told her how it should be done, but she decided to go another way."
He later added, "The good news for the wonderful United Kingdom is that they will soon have a new Prime Minister. While I thoroughly enjoyed the magnificent State Visit last month, it was the Queen who I was most impressed with!"
Responding to Trump's remarks on Monday, a Downing Street spokesperson said the U.K. has "a special and enduring relationship with the US based on our long history and commitment to shared values and that will continue to be the case."
"'We have made clear to the US how unfortunate this leak is," the spokesperson said. "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. Sir Kim Darroch continues to have the Prime Minister's full support."
In the leaked documents, Darroch described the Trump administration as "diplomatically clumsy and inept" and said he doubted it would become "substantially more normal."
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.
Josh Dawsey, a reporter at The Washington Post, wrote on Twitter that "Trump's own team likes the ambassador and regularly dines and socializes at the embassy with him."