The Cable

The Cable goes inside the foreign policy machine, from Foggy Bottom to Turtle Bay, the White House to Embassy Row.

Trump’s Anti-EU, Potential Pick for EU Ambassador Gets Fact-Checked

The Financial Times had the time to look into Ted Malloch's claims about Ted Malloch.

By , a global affairs journalist and the author of The Influence of Soros and Bad Jews.
ft
ft

Ted Malloch has been floated as President Donald Trump’s pick for ambassador to the European Union, a union which he has likened to the Soviet variety. He’s gotten in hot water lately, and not just because he’s dead set against the institution he might be interacting with, but for a good, old-fashioned inflated résumé.

Malloch taught at the University of Oxford’s Saïd Business School until last year, and made various claims about himself at that university, which is where his trouble with the Financial Times began.

The British daily ran a piece saying that, while Malloch claimed affiliation with three colleges at Oxford -- Wadham College, Wolfson College, and Pembroke College -- all three denied that he had, in fact, held the positions he said he had there. Wadham, which has a reputation at the university’s leftist college, went so far as to point out that, while Malloch claims to have been a Wadham senior common room fellow, “He has never been a Fellow of Wadham College and the role of Senior Common Room Fellow does not exist here.”

Ted Malloch has been floated as President Donald Trump’s pick for ambassador to the European Union, a union which he has likened to the Soviet variety. He’s gotten in hot water lately, and not just because he’s dead set against the institution he might be interacting with, but for a good, old-fashioned inflated résumé.

Malloch taught at the University of Oxford’s Saïd Business School until last year, and made various claims about himself at that university, which is where his trouble with the Financial Times began.

The British daily ran a piece saying that, while Malloch claimed affiliation with three colleges at Oxford — Wadham College, Wolfson College, and Pembroke College — all three denied that he had, in fact, held the positions he said he had there. Wadham, which has a reputation at the university’s leftist college, went so far as to point out that, while Malloch claims to have been a Wadham senior common room fellow, “He has never been a Fellow of Wadham College and the role of Senior Common Room Fellow does not exist here.”

Oxford students and alumni reacted exactly as one might imagine Oxford students and alumni would react.

“I’m deeply disturbed to find out that someone affiliated with such a respected institution would inflate their credentials,” Wolfson College alumnus Justin McNamara told Foreign Policy. He continued, tongue firmly in cheek, “I imagine this is the first, and hopefully last time anyone from the Oxford community has done this. Sad!”

Ivaylo Iaydjiev, another Oxford student, zeroed in on Malloch’s claim to have finished his doctorate from the University of Toronto in under three years. When this was proven untrue, Malloch explained that this did not include his thesis (that is, his dissertation). “I rest my case,” Iaydjiev said. (To be fair to Malloch, in Oxbridge, the doctorate is just the thesis. To be fair to everyone else, one cannot say one was awarded one’s doctorate without a thesis.)

Malloch is important inasmuch as he is rumored to be Trump’s man before Brussels, a union that Washington has staunchly backed for decades but which it now seems bent on tearing apart. “Whether the eurozone survives, I think it’s very much a question that is on the agenda,” Malloch told Greek television. His rumored appointment has caused consternation in Brussels. But then, Trump himself is understood as a threat by EU leadership.

To be sure, Malloch’s spat with an elite (not to say elitist) institution will probably only burnish his credentials with the Trump administration. But there’s more.

The Financial Times also fact-checked claims that Malloch held an “ambassadorial role” at the United Nations; was called a “global sherpa” live on air by former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher; had his documentary “Doing Virtuous Business” nominated for an Emmy award; wrote for the New York Times and Washington Post; was the first to use the term “thought leadership”; and that the Financial Times rejected a piece by Malloch “because it was contrary to [the paper’s] pro-EU policy.”

All those were lies or misleading statements, the Financial Times found.

Photo credit: Danny E. Martindale/Getty Images

Emily Tamkin is a global affairs journalist and the author of The Influence of Soros and Bad Jews. Twitter: @emilyctamkin

More from Foreign Policy

An illustration shows George Kennan, the father of Cold War containment strategy.
An illustration shows George Kennan, the father of Cold War containment strategy.

Is Cold War Inevitable?

A new biography of George Kennan, the father of containment, raises questions about whether the old Cold War—and the emerging one with China—could have been avoided.

U.S. President Joe Biden speaks on the DISCLOSE Act.
U.S. President Joe Biden speaks on the DISCLOSE Act.

So You Want to Buy an Ambassadorship

The United States is the only Western government that routinely rewards mega-donors with top diplomatic posts.

Chinese President Xi jinping  toasts the guests during a banquet marking the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China on September 30, 2019 in Beijing, China.
Chinese President Xi jinping toasts the guests during a banquet marking the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China on September 30, 2019 in Beijing, China.

Can China Pull Off Its Charm Offensive?

Why Beijing’s foreign-policy reset will—or won’t—work out.

Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar chairs a meeting in Ankara, Turkey on Nov. 21, 2022.
Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar chairs a meeting in Ankara, Turkey on Nov. 21, 2022.

Turkey’s Problem Isn’t Sweden. It’s the United States.

Erdogan has focused on Stockholm’s stance toward Kurdish exile groups, but Ankara’s real demand is the end of U.S. support for Kurds in Syria.