When "CBS Evening News" anchor Jeff Glor asked Trump who is his "biggest foe globally right now", Trump named the European Union, members of which are some of America's oldest and closest global allies. "Now, you wouldn't think of the European Union, but they're a foe", the president said. Naming the Kremlin in his list, Trump said, "Russia's a foe in certain respects".
In a pre-summit interview with CBS News' "Face the Nation" program aired on Sunday, Trump lumped in the European Union with China and Russian Federation as USA economic adversaries.
Trump and Putin will meet on Monday in Helsinki for their first stand-alone meeting since Trump took office in January 2017. "It means that they are competitive", said Trump. His mother was born in Scotland, he said accurately, and "my father was Germany".
EU Council President Donald Tusk said anyone calling the EU foes was spreading "fake news".
In an interview from Scotland with "CBS Evening News", the president told anchor Jeff Glor that the European Union with its 28 members, many of which are America's longest standing and closest allies, is a foe.
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Mr Trump said he respects Europe's leaders but says they have taken advantage of the United States on trade and defence spending.
Last week, the president participated in a contentious North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit in Brussels where he demanded that the alliance's members up their financial stake. While the interview made headlines mostly for this line on Sunday, just a day before he is slated to meet face-to-face with President Putin, Trump also said he believes the same about Russian Federation and others.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel pushed back on his comments after the summit, telling reporters she had "experienced myself how a part of Germany was controlled by the Soviet Union" while growing up in communist East Germany, and said her country made "independent" policies and decisions.
"We know that Trump doesn't do a lot of prep work for these meetings. What, are they waving a white flag?" he added.
According to Trump, the pipeline deal has generated "a lot of anger" for Germany, and it won't even be good for the country in the long run anyway.