The former Republican US presidential candidate and incoming senator for Utah Mitt Romney has launched a scathing attack on incumbent President Donald Trump, saying the leader has caused dismay around the world.
Writing in the Washington Post, Romney said Trump had not “risen to the mantle” of the presidency.
Romney has been fiercely critical of Trump before but won his backing for his run in Utah.
There has been no response yet from the US president.
Trump has previously attacked Romney as a “failed candidate” and his manager for the 2020 presidential campaign accused him of jealousy.
The timing of the article, just two days before Romney is sworn-in, prompted some to speculate he was positioning himself as a challenger to Trump securing the Republican presidential nomination.
In the article, Romney praised many of Trump’s policies, such his tax reforms and appointment of conservative judges, ones he said “mainstream Republicans have promoted for years”.
“With the nation so divided, resentful and angry, presidential leadership in qualities of character is indispensable. And it is in this province where the incumbent’s shortfall has been most glaring,” incoming Utah senator said.
“The world is also watching,” he added. “Trump’s words and actions have caused dismay around the world.”