Tags: Donald Trump | Presidential History | Trump Administration | kim darroch | british | ambassador | england

President's Clash With UK Ambassador First Since 1856

Former British Ambassador to the U.S. Kim Darroch speaks during a news conference
Former British Ambassador to the U.S. Kim Darroch (Paul Morigi/Getty Images)

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Wednesday, 10 July 2019 10:52 AM Current | Bio | Archive

Since the weekend, official Washington has been breathless watching the barbed tweets from President Donald Trump about British Ambassador Sir Kim Darroch and cables in which he characterized the Trump administration as "incompetent."

All of this culminated in the president's announcement Tuesday he would no longer deal with Sir Kim and the ambassador's resulting resignation.

"Unprecedented" is a term many are using to characterize the clash between the U.S. president and the United Kingdom envoy.

Actually, it is not. But to find the precedent, one has to go back 163 years.

In 1852, Sir John Crampton, a British career diplomat, had been named his country's minister (then the term the British used for ambassador) to Washington, D.C.

Four years later, Sir John found himself under sharp attack from U.S. President Franklin Pierce. In no uncertain terms, Pierce accused the ambassador of trying to enlist recruits during the Crimean War (the conflict from 1853 to 1856 in which the Russian Empire lost to a coalition of France, Britain, Sardinia, and the Ottoman Empire).

Sir John had powerful friends in Washington willing to defend him, but they were just not enough to overcome a president demanding he go.

The British government under then-Prime Minister Lord Palmerston acquiesced, and the minister was recalled to London in 1856. In September 1856, Crampton was made a Knight Commander of the Order of Bath and later served as minister to Russia and then to Spain.

If there is any precedent to the Pierce-Crampton clash, it could be Sir Kim Darroch will receive honors of his own upon returning to London and that we hear of him soon in another capacity.

John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.

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President Donald Trump and UK Ambassador Kim Darroch clash is not quite unprecedented, according to Newsmax's John Gizzi.
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