Barack Obama's Arrogance to Blame for ISIS, Claims David Cameron's ex-Aide

David Cameron thought Barack Obama was one of the "most narcissistic, self-absorbed people" he had ever dealt with, according to the former prime minister's director of strategy.

Steve Hilton, once one of Cameron's most senior advisers, suggested the so-called "bromance" between the former UK leader and US president was a fantasy.

He also said Obama's arrogance led to "real-world disasters", including the rise of the Islamic State group. Hilton made the comments during his TV show on US network Fox News.

"My old boss, former British Prime Minister David Cameron, thought Obama was one of the most narcissistic, self-absorbed people he'd ever dealt with," he told viewers on Sunday (January 7).

"Obama never listened to anyone, always thought he was smarter than every expert in the room, and treated every meeting as an opportunity to lecture everyone else. This led to real-world disasters, like Syria and the rise of ISIS."

The claims shed new light on the "special relationship" said to have developed between Cameron and Obama during their time in office.

The public image of their apparent close friendship was cemented when Cameron revealed the pair spoke often on the phone, and that Obama would even call him "bro."

"The President has said the special relationship is stronger than it has ever been privately and in public and I agree," he added during a 2015 interview with the Mail on Sunday.

Barack Obama David Cameron
U.S. President Barack Obama speaks to British Prime Minister David Cameron during the NATO Summit in Warsaw, Poland July 8, 2016. REUTERS/Kacper Pempel

The pair were also photographed together playing table tennis and golf, and cooking burgers in the 10 Downing Street garden.

The portrayal of the "special relationship" seemed to break down in their final years in office, however, when Obama said Cameron had failed to grapple with Libya following the 2011 intervention because he had become "distracted by a range of things."

Hilton's scathing assessment of what Cameron actually thought of Obama in private came as he sought to defend Donald Trump, who has been under attack since explosive claims emerged following the publication of Michael Wolff's book Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House.

The book, which features interviews with current and former Trump administration officials, has raised questions over whether the US President has the mental capacity to be in the White House.

But Hilton, a pro-populist who has previously said he's neither politically liberal nor conservative, dismissed the criticisms as attacks from "two-faced, self-serving muppets."

The former advertising executive said the US public had been failed by presidents like Obama, who he branded an "elite" who cares more about "style and tone, not substance and results."

He added: "Donald Trump offends the elites aesthetically, like a piece of art that's not to their taste.

"They can afford to do that because they live in a world of booming neighborhoods with delightful hipster eateries and everyone they know employed in the virtual world of the knowledge economy.

"They don't see what's going on in the actual economy. The closed factories, the boarded-up shops, the family members on opioids, the lowest level of employment for men since the depression, wages flat or falling for 40 years."

Hilton, a Brexit supporter, clashed with Cameron during the referendum campaign to leave the EU.

He accused the "establishment" in both the UK and US of trying to overturn populist victories, including the Brexit referendum and Trump's election.

A spokesperson for Cameron dismissed Hilton's claims about the former prime minister's alleged views on Obama.

They told the Guardian: "This does not represent David Cameron's opinion at all and could not be further from the truth. David Cameron's views on President Obama—whether in public or in private – are the same: he considers Barack Obama a hugely accomplished president, a great partner for Britain and a good friend to our country and to him personally."