Vanquisher of the Soviet Union, Thatcher’s ‘genius’ or Europe’s best bullshitter? Whichever he is, Ted Malloch could soon be the EU’s worst nightmare.
Theodore Roosevelt ‘Ted’ Malloch has been widely touted as President Donald Trump’s preferred candidate to become the US ambassador to the European Union.
His impressive curriculum vitae and the accounts of his accomplished career in politics, diplomacy and beyond – recounted in his recent autobiography Davos, Aspen & Yale – suggest he is a front-runner for the key role.
In his own words Malloch ‘helped bring down the Soviet Union’ when he held an ‘ambassadorial level’ role at the United Nations, garnered gushing praise from Margaret Thatcher who once referred to him live on CNN as ‘a genius’ and was even bestowed the honour of being made ‘a laird by Lord Lyon of Scotland’.
And since Trump’s run on the White House and subsequent victory he has featured across the UK media expressing his outspoken attacks on the EU in regular appearances on the BBC and elsewhere. During one of these, he mentioned his earlier accomplishments – in which he ‘helped bring down the Soviet Union’ – and said that the EU might be another union ‘that needs taming’.
But all may not be what it seems with Malloch. In a series of recent articles, the Financial Times have scrutinised his CV and career highlights and noted some apparent discrepancies, including:
• That he was employed at ‘ambassadorial level’ with the UN and ‘helped bring down the Soviet Union’. UN officials said the role was not ambassadorial level.
?• That Thatcher referred to him ‘a genius’ and a ‘global sherpa’ on CNN in 1992. The FT uncovered video evidence which contradicted this but he has since said the comment was made off-camera, or captured by another camera.
• That he was a laird and the honour was bestowed upon him by the Lord Lyon of Scotland. The Lord Lyon does not have the power to create lairds but Malloch insists he has a scroll showing his position and it was awarded because of land ownership.
• That a documentary he made Doing Virtuous Business had received a nomination for an Emmy. It was not nominated.
* That he has written for the Washington Post and The New York Times. No record could be found of him having done so. Malloch declined to provide a list of articles to the FT and has suggested that online archives may not go back far enough to show them.
• That he was a fellow at Wolfson and Pembroke colleges, Oxford. Both institutions deny such an affiliation but when challenged by reporters Malloch disputed this.
?• That he held the role of ‘professor’ at Saïd Business School, Oxford, when he was actually a senior fellow on a short-term appointment. Malloch told The New European he was a professor at Yale and Blackfriars Hall, Oxford.?
Speaking to this newspaper, the 64-year-old Malloch has put his treatment at the hands of the FT down to a political grudge. ‘The FT started all this because they supported Remain – I sent them an op ed piece but it was rejected. It is all utter nonsense. I dispute the claims I have embellished any details. This is a political assassination,’ he said.
Take away the disputed elements of Malloch’s CV, though, and it remains impressive. He was a professor at Yale and Blackfriars Hall, Oxford, and has held numerous political and diplomatic roles over three decades.
He said he had met with White House representatives and expected President Trump to announce who would be the ambassador by June: ‘It’s not quite an interview process – but yes I have met with people. There have been meetings. Not with the President though.’
The White House spokesman offered no comment on the possible appointment and the Trump administration has never confirmed nor denied whether Malloch is being considered, so perhaps the mere suggestion is mischief making – rather like the trumpeting of Nigel Farage as an ambassador to the US.
Should Malloch be appointed, though, it would certainly light a fire in Brussels. Earlier this month chairman of the European People’s Party Group in the European Parliament, Manfred Weber sent a letter to European Council President Donald Tusk urging him not to accept Malloch’s nomination if Trump were to pick him.
Weber accused Malloch of ‘outrageous malevolence regarding the values that define this European Union’ and warned that he had the ‘potential to undermine seriously the transatlantic relationship that has, for the past 70 years, essentially contributed to peace, stability and prosperity on our continent’.
He went on: ‘We are strongly convinced that persons seeing as their mission to disrupt or dissolve the European Union, should not be accredited as official representations to the EU.’