Trump is a 'clear and present threat': Ex-diplomat warns president is dangerous to US national security
Trump's relationship with Moscow has stalked the first year of his presidency, with key former aides under a US investigation for alleged collaboration with the Kremlin. (SPUTNIK/AFP / Mikhail KLIMENTYEV)

A former U.S. diplomat detailed the ways Donald Trump is a "clear and present threat" to America's national security in a new Washington Monthly column.

Author James Bruno wrote that a January 26 close call in which a pair of Russian fighter jets flew over North America, though not a rare occurrence, raised concerns about what the Trump administration would do if such a situation become direr.

"Such close encounters have occurred sporadically since the Cold War," Bruno wrote. "So far, these close calls, sometimes measured in yards and feet, have not resulted in calamity. But they easily could. If so, how would things play out? Is the Trump administration capable of handling a serious international crisis soberly and methodically?"

The former diplomat who worked in Cuba and Southeast Asia cited the assassination of Archduke Francis Ferdinand and the ensuing World War as an allegory for the dangers of "incompetent" leadership.

"Just as feckless European powers a century ago let the assassination of a Balkan archduke lead to world war, an incompetent U.S. president, dismissive of his national security apparatus and operating in a policy vacuum, puts our security at serious risk," Bruno wrote.

Whether he's withdrawing troops from Syria without consulting any of his military officials or attacking his intelligence chiefs, Trump's erosion of security institutions are extremely troubling, the ex-diplomat who worked Secret Service security detail mused.

Bruno went on to raise concerns about the president's wildly-understaffed State Department, rare foreign affairs meetings and "America First policy agenda" — but said that "the growing evidence of potential collusion between Trump and Moscow" is "most disturbing" to him as an ex-diplomat.

"President Trump’s obsequiousness to Vladimir Putin has been amply documented," the former diplomat wrote. "His exclusion of U.S. officials—even American interpreters—from his meetings with the Russian leader sounds obvious alarm bells among counterintelligence professionals."

He went on to reveal a "refrain" shared among national security professionals: "none of us would have received security clearances had we even a fraction of the shady foreign contacts or financial shenanigans that have come to light about the president."

Read the entire column via the Washington Monthly.