A FRESH ROW has broken out between Donald Trump and the UK government as Theresa May attacked the ‘completely unacceptable’ language he used in a Twitter outburst.
The US president had said four outspoken liberal congresswomen should ‘go back and help fix’ their ‘broken and crime-infested’ countries.
He was branded ‘racist’ at home and in a tweet last night Mr Trump said it was ‘so sad’ to see Democrats supporting the women.
While Mr Trump did not name the four, he is believed to have been referring to (pictured above) congresswomen Rashida Tlaib, Ilhan Omar, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ayanna Pressley. Only Ms Omar, from Somalia, was not born in the US.
Downing Street made clear the prime minister’s thoughts on Mr Trump’s comments.
‘Her view is that the language which was used to refer to the women was completely unacceptable,’ her official spokesman said.
The spokesman said he was not aware of any plans for Mrs May to speak to the president.
Scotland’s first minister Nicola Sturgeon said the president’s comments were ‘not OK and diplomatic politeness should not stop us saying so, loudly and clearly’.
Mr Trump hit out at the congresswomen ‘who originally came from countries whose governments are a complete and total catastrophe, the worst, most corrupt and inept anywhere in the world’. He suggested ‘why don’t they go back and help fix the totally broken and crime-infested places from which they came’.
His comments led to complaints from senior Democrats, with presidential hopeful Elizabeth Warren condemning the ‘racist and xenophobic attack’ and another 2020 contender, former Texas representative Beto O’Rourke, saying ‘this is racist’.
Despite the backlash, Mr Trump remained unrepentant today, suggesting the congresswomen should apologise.
The latest row follows the storm created by the leak of sensitive diplomatic messages from the UK’s ambassador in Washington, Sir Kim Darroch, which prompted the envoy’s resignation.
The Metropolitan Police is investigating the leak, but has been accused of being ‘heavy-handed’ in its approach to the reporting of further releases.
Former Brexit secretary David Davis called for senior officer Neil Basu to be pulled from the investigation after he urged journalists in possession of leaked government documents to return them, warning any further publication from the dispatches could result in prosecution.
Mr Davis wrote to The Times accusing Mr Basu of ‘straying beyond his brief’ and called for commissioner Cressida Dick to put the investigation in the hands of ‘an officer who puts preservation of our free press ahead of protection of the state’s reputation’.
He wrote that prosecuting journalists for ’embarrassing the state is not what we do in the UK’.
Meanwhile, chairman of the digital, culture, media and sport committee Damian Collins urged the force to focus on the leaker rather than the media publishing the leaks.
He told The Sun: ‘The Metropolitan Police should… make it clear that there is no legal risk for newspapers freely reporting on the leaked documents.
‘Neil Basu’s statement was clearly a threat aimed at newspaper editors, encouraging them not to report on a story in which there is clear public interest.’
Downing Street refused to be drawn on assistant commissioner Mr Basu’s comments.
Sir Kim resigned last week, saying his position had become ‘impossible’ following the leak of diplomatic cables in which he described Donald Trump’s White House as ‘inept’ and ‘dysfunctional’.
The Mail on Sunday released further details of his correspondence, including a memorandum from May 2018 in which the ambassador suggested Mr Trump had decided to pull out of the Iran nuclear deal in an act of spite because it was agreed by his predecessor Barack Obama.