London: US former Secretary of State John Kerry tore into President Donald Trump on Thursday for skipping a visit to a military cemetery in France, calling him a "truculent child".
Kerry was visiting the UK to promote his book. "People are tired of the embarrassment of what took place in Paris in the last few days," Kerry said on BBC Radio 4's Today programme.
"We cannot have a truculent child president. We need something serious."
Trump has been hit with criticism for backing out of a visit to the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery and Memorial in Belleau, France, last weekend while he was there to commemorate the centennial anniversary of the end of World War I.
"Every country is feeling the pressure of this nationalistic populist and in some cases very frightening rightwing advance," the former top official said.
The White House said Trump was unable to visit the military cemetery due to inclement weather. On Tuesday, Trump tweeted he was urged to back out of the visit by Secret Service because a motorcade would cause a disturbance.
"I was appalled that rain drops prevented the President from going to pay honour to those that died in rain, gas, snow and mud. That was the reason he came to Paris," said Kerry.
Despite his personal criticism of Trump, Kerry urged his party to avoid becoming so obsessed with Trump by calling for his impeachment.
The Democrat-controlled House of Representatives should do whatever was appropriate, Kerry said, but added: "The Democrats should not even be talking about impeachment right now. We should be talking about the alternatives that might make life better for the people in our country."
Kerry during the BBC interview addressed speculation that he might launch a presidential bid in 2020, saying he was not "actively running". He added that the potentially crowded Democratic field is likely to be a "mish-mash".
The only specific names he mentioned were former Vice President Joe Biden and the former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, but added there was a lot of talent in the party, according to the Guardian.
Speaking on the UK Brexit debate, he said: "Suffice it to say both President (Barack) Obama and myself, as Secretary of State, came here to Britain before the referendum and we both were remainers."
When asked if he supported a second referendum, he replied: "I said President Obama and I were, and are, remainers."