The White House has investigated Sir Kim Darroch, Britain's former ambassador to the US over fears he leaked classified information to his lover, Michelle Kosinski, The Sun reported, citing unnamed sources. During the former ambassador's tenure, Kosinski worked as a White House correspondent for CNN. According to the newspaper, alarm bells started ringing in the White House after Kosinski, whom Washington insiders described to The Sun as "not-well connected" started reporting on the Trump administration's most sensitive plans.
American officials suspected that in 2018 Sir Kim Darroch had informed Kosinski that then-CIA Director Mike Pompeo told his staff he would soon become US Secretary of State, The Sun writes. Several days later Kosinski wrote about the White House's alleged plans to send Pompeo to North Korea. According to Fox News, the story sparked horror inside the Trump administration as it could have torpedoed US plans.
"It was believed that no one on the US side would leak this information. It was critical for the American officials that this information did not get out. If it did, the North Koreans could have been spooked and the three Americans may never have been returned", a source told The Sun, referring to the American citizens arrested by North Korean authorities during their visit to the country. The three men were later freed during Mike Pompeo's second visit to Pyongyang.
The correspondent then reported on Washington's plans to expel Russian diplomats from the US in response to the purported poisoning of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia by Russian intelligence, a claim the Kremlin denies.
US officials started seriously looking into whether someone was leaking sensitive information to Kosinski, when the correspondent reported on Trump's private spat with then-US ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley.
Other topics reported by Kosinski include:
- Trump issuing a rare apology to former Prime Minister Theresa May after telling The Sun in an exclusive interview that she "wrecked Brexit";
- Kosinski learning about US plans to impose tough sanctions against Russia. Sources told The Sun the restrictive measures were discussed with Washington's allies Britain, France, and Germany in private.
Results of Investigation and 'Unprecedented' US Behaviour
According to The Sun, US officials learned about Sir Kim Darroch's affair with Kosinski after she reported on Trump's spat with Nikki Haley. The Department of Justice then launched a probe into Sir Kim Darroch, which eventually cleared him of any wrongdoing. The former ambassador himself is believed to have denied any impropriety, The Sun reported.
In July 2019, Sir Kim Darroch himself became the victim of an information leak, when the Daily Mail published excerpts from his secret diplomatic cables to the British government, where he described the Trump administration as "uniquely dysfunctional" and dubbed President Trump as "inept and insecure". Trump responded by calling Darroch a "wacky ambassador" and "very stupid guy".
"The ambassador has not served the UK well. I can say things about him but I won't bother", Trump told reporters.
A former senior US official told The Sun that the statement made by Trump was about Darroch's affair with Kosinski and investigation into the envoy. "The president never holds back, but out of respect to the UK he did on this occasion", the official told The Sun.
Another unnamed security source told the newspaper it's extraordinary that the White House decided to launch a probe into a serving diplomat of its greatest ally.
"The leaks of the cables last year were obviously deeply embarrassing and left Darroch no option but to resign once President Trump made his feelings clear. But for the US to investigate the most senior diplomat of its greatest ally on suspicion of leaking secret information is almost unprecedented. Although the investigation found nothing over Darroch, the fact it happened is extraordinary", a security source told The Sun.