President Donald Trump with first lady Melania Trump gestures upon arrival at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., Sunday, July 7, 2019. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

UK hunts culprit behind leak of envoy's frank Trump missives

July 08, 2019 - 2:06 am

LONDON (AP) — The British government is hunting for the source of a leak of diplomatic cables from Britain's ambassador in Washington that branded President Donald Trump's administration "dysfunctional" and "inept."

British officials are embarrassed by the publication of Kim Darroch's unflattering assessment — but more alarmed that sensitive confidential information has been leaked, possibly for political ends.

The leak embarrasses outgoing Prime Minister Theresa May, who has sometimes clashed with Trump.

British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said Monday that his department was seeking the culprit. He said the ability to communicate frankly was "fundamental" to diplomacy.

After Darroch's assessments were published in the Mail on Sunday newspaper, Trump said the ambassador "has not served the U.K. well, I can tell you that. We are not big fans of that man."