A former head of MI6 has hit out at Donald Trump for using Twitter to conduct critical diplomatic communications with Russia ahead of a potential conflict in Syria.
Sir John Sawers suggested Mr Trump’s use of social media would not provide the clarity of message to Moscow needed, as the world’s superpowers squared up following the alleged chemical weapons attack in the town of Douma.
The ex-British intelligence chief’s call for better lines of communication to the Kremlin came after the President took to Twitter on Wednesday, to tell Russia to “get ready” for missiles to hit Syrian Government targets.
UK and US military forces are reported to have moved into position for strikes on Syrian regime infrastructure, with Theresa May due to hold a ‘war Cabinet’ meeting later on Thursday afternoon.
Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Sir John said the West was back to a level of danger in relations with Russia not seen since the Cold War, and that Western leaders now had to be perfectly clear in communications with Moscow.
He said: “It is one of the weaknesses. I don’t put this down just to the current US administration.
“I think it goes back to the Obama administration, that failed to develop and invest in lines of communication at ambassadorial, or ministerial or head of state level, where although there are serious disagreements between Russia and the United States, there is at least clarity, so the scope for misunderstanding was minimised.”