The former head of MI6 has said Donald Trump lacks the background, experience and instincts of an effective president, as he warned the US may be heading into a new war on the Korean peninsula.
Ex-spy chief Sir John Sawers said Mr Trump was not a person who “fills me with confidence” as he cited increasing tensions with North Korea as a bigger threat to world peace than the conflict in Syria.
But he also said recent events in the Middle Eastern country, which include a US missile strike, do show military and diplomatic “grown-ups” are beginning to steer the US administration, pushing Mr Trump’s ideological staff to the periphery.
His intervention comes ahead of a G7 meeting at which Boris Johnson will lead a diplomatic push for new sanctions to punish Russia for backing the Assad regime, blamed for a deadly chemical weapons attack, and as a US Navy carrier group heads to the Korean Peninsula to ward off missile tests by Kim-Jong Un.
Asked if he is afraid at how Mr Trump may handle the twin crises, Sir John 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, H.R. McMaster, the national security advisor, Jim Mattis, the Defence Secretary, and now [Rex] Tillerson this week going to Moscow.
“We see the sensible…
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