Trump and the far-right U.K. politician have displayed a long and friendly history
President-elect Donald Trump took to Twitter on Monday to share his views on diplomacy — by endorsing British conservative and Brexit-backer Nigel Farage as potential U.K. Ambassador to the U.S.
“Many people would like to see Nigel Farage represent Great Britain as their Ambassador to the United States,” Trump tweeted. “He would do a great job!”
Farage reportedly said he was “flattered” by the suggestion. But regardless of whether Trump or “many people” want Farage to become the diplomatic bridge between the two countries, the U.K. government says it’s not going to happen. The Guardian reports that a Downing Street spokesperson responded: “There is no vacancy. We already have an excellent ambassador to the U.S.”
Twitter users quickly displayed a wide array of reactions ranging from “We love Nigel!!!!!” to “and many millions would also really, really rather not.” It didn’t take long for a hashtag to emerge: #BetterAmbassadorsThanFarage.
Trump and Farage have displayed a long and friendly history. Farage even joined Trump on the campaign trail in August, and in the lead-up to the November poll he praised his American conservative counterpart as a “big alpha male” following what appeared to most observers to be an imperfect performance in a debate against his democratic opponent Hillary Clinton.
Farage, the far-right interim leader of the U.K. Independence Party (UKIP), is known for his vocal and sometimes misleading support for Brexit; he campaigned for the U.K. to leave the European Union on a platform of hard-line anti-immigration policies and promises to re-allocate social spending that he later admitted were a “mistake.”
The famously brash Farage upset the traditional diplomatic order earlier this month, when he became one of the first foreign politicians to meet with the President-elect after his win. Under ordinary circumstances, Prime Minister Theresa May — of Britain’s Conservative Party — would have met first with the incoming head of state, as Farage does not currently hold a place in the U.K. government. (He’s a member of the European Parliament.)
The Guardian reported Tuesday that Farage is expecting an invitation to Trump’s inauguration ceremony on Jan. 20.
Trump has not yet extended a formal invitation for May to visit the U.S., while a leaked transcript of a recent telephone call between the two appears to reveal his rather unorthodox suggestion: “If you travel to the U.S. you should let me know.”