The former head of MI6 has warned that Donald Trump lacks the instincts of an effective president — and may be leading the US into a war with North Korea.
Sir John Sawers said Mr Trump was not a person who “fills me with confidence”, noting that the Korean Peninsula, not Syria, may the location of a conflict that threatens world peace.
His comments came after Donald Trump launched a missile attack against a Syrian airbase in the early hours of Friday morning.
Shortly afterwards, Boris Johnson called for G7 countries to collectively impose new sanctions on Russia if it does not cut ties with president Bashar al-Assad.
On Saturday, a US Navy carrier group headed to the Korean Peninsula in a bid to ward off missile tests by Kim-Jong Un.
Sir John, also former UK permanent representative to the United Nations, said: “He’s not someone who fills me with confidence.
“He doesn’t have the background and the experience and the instincts of being an effective US president, but it is in our interests that we have a US administration that upholds the international system, that supports its allies and supports international norms.
“What we saw last week [in Syria] was some of the heavyweights, the serious minds in the US administration, HR McMaster, the national security advisor, Jim Mattis, the Defence Secretary, and now [Rex] Tillerson this week going to Moscow.
“We see the sensible grown-ups within the administration taking charge and the rather ideological figures around Trump himself being marginalised, and that’s to be welcomed.”
President Donald Trump is considering major changes in his top-level staff, including replacing White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, amid a deepening rivalry between Steve Bannon and Jared Kushner.
Sir John told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme he was “no fan” of Mr Trump and that the first three months of his presidency had been “chaotic”.
“If you are looking for a world crisis which could bring about the dangers of a clash between great powers then North Korea is a bigger concern than Syria,” he said.