President Trump, don’t kill the messenger
The leak of secret cables written by British Ambassador to the US Kim Darroch sheds new light on how diplomats representing America’s closest ally view President Donald Trump. The leak is likely to further complicate the increasingly strained relationship between Trump and the UK and could affect diplomatic engagement with America more broadly.
In the cables that were leaked to the Daily Mail, Darroch wrote what most of Trump’s peers are probably thinking: He’s insecure, incompetent and inept, and his career could end in disgrace.
You don’t need a security clearance to make these assessments. Trump’s insecurities and ineptitude are in full display on his Twitter feed. But Darroch made those assessments about Trump in a safe space, via confidential cables.
Trump makes a lot of his profiling public. He publicly provides his assessments of how all kinds of people are doing, and he doesn’t hold much back, including pejorative nicknames for public officials. It’s hard to tell what purpose the President’s public personality assessments serve other than ginning up his base or soothing his ego, because otherwise he’d keep them private.
Other leaders rely on confidential, internal assessments of their peers, developed by professionals, to guide their policy approaches. That’s anathema to Trump, based on how he relies on his feelings about foreign leaders (normally despots) rather than the assessments of his home team……..read more