On Monday, President-elect Donald Trump tweeted his preference for UK ambassador to the US, a position exclusively delegated by Britain’s sovereign government. “Many people would like to see @Nigel_Farage represent Great Britain as their Ambassador to the United States. He would do a great job!” Trump stated, conspicuously employing the nondescript phrase “Many people would like…” to suggest that his own affinity for the Brexit campaigner was grounded in some sort of popular mandate. During the campaign, thousands of users took to Twitter to mock the real estate mogul’s 4th-grade-five-paragraph-essay rhetorical style, leading to the proliferation of the tagline #ManyPeopleAreSaying.
Many people would like to see @Nigel_Farage represent Great Britain as their Ambassador to the United States. He would do a great job!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 22, 2016
UK officials didn’t take kindly to Trump’s unprecedented interference in their affairs, stating bluntly that the ambassadorship is already filled.
“Prime Minister Theresa May, who congratulated Trump on his victory, was swift to reject such an undiplomatic proposal, with a spokesman saying Britain already had an excellent ambassador to Washington and that London would appoint its own envoys,” reports Reuters.
Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, the conservative MP and former mayor of London who campaigned with Ukip’s Farage during in the months preceding the Brexit vote, dismissed Trump’s proposal outright. “We have a first-rate ambassador in Washington,” Johnson told parliament. “There is no vacancy for that position.”
Trump’s expression of support for an opposition party member to fill the ambassadorship in a foreign country is, by all metrics, a breach of diplomatic decorum.
This isn’t the first time, however, that Trump has subverted time-tested traditions of Western statecraft.
Last week, the President-elect allowed his daughter Ivanka to sit in on a meeting with the Prime Minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe. The entire scene reeked of nepotism and drew criticism from seasoned diplomats intent on preserving American prestige on the international stage, especially in the wake of the Obama administration’s disturbing legacy of Chamberlinian servility.
Trump’s preference for Farage shouldn’t be surprising, considering the cozy relationship the two men have cultivated over the last few months.
As the face and leader of the far-right Ukip party, Farage has spent years campaigning for the UK to the leave the European Union. When it finally happened, he lost his place in Parliament during an election. Hostile to the flow of immigrants crossing the English Channel, Farage shares the same populist, “elite”-suspicious appeal as his fellow ideological traveler and soon-to-be president Donald Trump.
In an exclusive interview with Breitbart News, Farage stressed that the same anti-establishment enthusiasm permeating through the American heartland should cross the pond and shake up Downing Street.
“I am in a good position with the President-elect’s support to help. The world has changed and it’s time that Downing Street did too,” he told Breitbart. “I would do anything to help our national interest and to help cement ties with the incoming Anglophile administration.”
Ambassador or not, Farage’s relationship with Trump is only bound to grow stronger.