Farage for US ambassador? We are not amused, says Britain. (+video)
Donald Trump tweeted Monday night that the Nigel Farage, who helped lead the push for Brexit, would 'do a good job' as ambassador to the United States.
On Monday night, Donald Trump once again took to Twitter to make a controversial post. This time, the president-elect tweeted his support for Nigel Farage, on-again-off-again party leader for Britain's far-right United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP).
Both men have expressed support for each other in the past, but this time, Mr. Trump suggested in his tweet that Mr. Farage should become the British ambassador to the United States.
This kind of suggestion from a president-elect is yet another first for Trump's budding administration and a very embarrassing one for British Prime Minister Theresa May. The position of ambassador is currently held by Kim Darroch, and the prime minister's office told reporters that there was absolutely no intention to replace him.
"There is no vacancy," a Downing Street spokesman told reporters. "We already have an excellent ambassador to the US."
The tweet in question comes a little more than a week after Farage became the first foreign politician to visit Trump following his upset victory in the US presidential election. Both are unconventional populists who fueled their respective rises to power with anti-immigration rhetoric. Both won unexpected and significant victories this year, with Farage one of the loudest advocates for Britain's referendum on Brexit, which narrowly passed in June.
Farage has been an elected member of the European Parliament since 1999, despite never succeeding in winning a seat in the British Parliament. For years, he has been a leading face of Euroscepticism, and helped UKIP become the third-largest party in Britain's 2015 general election.
This summer, Farage all but endorsed Trump at a campaign-trail rally in Jackson, Miss.
"I cannot possibly tell you how you should vote in this election. But you know I get it, I get it. I'm hearing you," he told the crowd of Mississippi Trump supporters in August. "But I will say this: if I was an American citizen I wouldn't vote for Hillary Clinton if you paid me. In fact, I wouldn't vote for Hillary Clinton if she paid me."
Trump's Monday tweet appeared to return Farage's support for the president-elect, saying "Many people would like to see @Nigel_Farage represent Great Britain as their Ambassador to the United States. He would do a great job!"
Britain, of course, chooses its own ambassadors, and a suggestion from the incoming US president to appoint an opposing party's leader from another country as an ambassador is unprecedented, according to The Guardian. Ms. May currently heads a Conservative Party government.
Farage, for his part, called the suggestion a "bolt from the blue," adding "if I could help the U.K. in any way I would."
The British politician followed up on these remarks in an op-ed published on the far-right website Breitbart News, using the opportunity to criticize conventional British politics and May's administration.
"I can still scarcely believe that he did that though speaking to a couple of his long time friends perhaps I am a little less surprised," said Farage in the article. "They all say the same thing: that Trump is a very loyal man and supports those that stand by him. It is called trust and it is how the whole world of business operates. Sadly, the cesspit that is career politics understands nothing of this. In their world the concept of trust is transitory."
After Farage's recent visit to the US to congratulate Trump on winning the election, Downing Street rejected any notion that Farage would ever act as a go-between between the British Prime Minister and US President.
"The president-elect talked about enjoying the same close relationship that Reagan and Thatcher did," a government spokesperson told reporters last week. "I don't remember there being a third person in that relationship."
This article includes material from Reuters.