Donald Trump suggests Britain appoint Brexit leader Nigel Farage as ambassador

Donald Trump and Nigel Farage palling around
(Image credit: Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)

Some Republicans were angry that President Obama moved a bust of Winston Churchill from the Oval Office and replaced it with a bust of Martin Luther King Jr., but on Monday, President-elect Donald Trump took that a step further, suggesting the removal of Britain's actual living ambassador to the United States, Sir Kim Darroch, and replacing him with Nigel Farage, the acting leader of Britain's U.K. Independence Party (UKIP).

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British Prime Minister Theresa May did not appear open to the suggestion, saying through a spokesman that there is "no vacancy" at the British Embassy in Washington. Farage — who tweeted last week after meeting with Trump in New York that he is "especially pleased" at Trump's "very positive reaction to idea that Sir Winston Churchill's bust should be put back in Oval Office" — said Monday he was "flattered" by Trump's suggestion and open to helping strengthen U.S.-British relations any way he can. Trump's tweet was a pretty serious breach of diplomatic protocol:

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Farage and Trump discussed more than Churchill at their meeting last week. According to Britain's Sunday Express and The New York Times, Trump urged Farage and his companions to push for an end to wind farms in Scotland. Trump "did not say he hated wind farms as a concept; he just did not like them spoiling the views," British media consultant Andy Wigmore, who was at the meeting, told The New York Times. After the meeting, Wigmore and Brexit financier Arron Banks decided they will be "campaigning against wind farms in England, Scotland, and Wales," Wigmore said, something they opposed already though Trump "spurred us in and we will be going for it."

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Trump fought to stop Scotland from building a wind farm off the coast of one of his golf courses, in Aberdeenshire, all the way up to Britain's highest court, which unanimously ruled against him last December. Trump spokeswoman Hope Hicks at first said that Trump never raised the issue of wind farms; when The Times noted that Wigmore described the conversation in detail and on the record, she declined to comment.

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