The reaction from government officials in the United Kingdom to President-elect Donald Trump’s suggestion that they replace the sitting ambassador to the United States with Britain’s populist, anti-immigrant U.K. Independence Party leader, Nigel Farage, was swift and dismissive.
“We have a first rate ambassador in Washington doing a very good job of relating both with the present administration and the administration to be, and there is no vacancy for that position,” British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said today as he pounded his fist in the House of Commons.
American-English translation: Dude, we already have an ambassador.
It’s a breach of protocol at best (and unprecedented at worst) for an American president or president-elect to publicly call for a foreign nation to appoint a new ambassador. Kim Darroch assumed the role as ambassador in Washington just this year.
Trump tweeted Monday night, “Many people would like to see @Nigel_Farage represent Great Britain as their Ambassador to the United States. He would do a great job!”
Farage and Trump developed a relationship this summer, spurred by Trump’s support for Britain to vote to leave the European Union — a controversial campaign for which Farage was a leading figure. On Nov. 12, Farage was the first British politician to meet with Trump after he won the election.
In an op-ed today for the pro-Trump website Breitbart News, Farage wrote, “Like a bolt from the blue, Trump tweeted out that I would do a great job as the UK’s ambassador to Washington.”
Farage attributed the gesture to Trump’s affection for those who are loyal to him.
“It is called trust, and it is how the whole world of business operates,” Farage wrote. “Sadly, the cesspit that is career politics understands nothing of this. In their world the concept of trust is transitory.”