- President Donald Trump named the European Union as a “foe”, along with Russia and China.
- When CBS News host Jeff Glor asked him to identify his “biggest foe globally right now”, Trump said the European Union, as well as Russia “in certain respects” and China “economically”.
- Trump’s comments double down on his criticism of NATO member countries at last week’s summit.
President Donald Trump called the European Union a “foe” of the United States in an interview that aired Sunday.
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.
“I think we have a lot of foes,” Trump said. “I think the European Union is a foe, what they do to us in trade. Now, you wouldn’t think of the European Union, but they’re a foe.”
Trump has made comments in the past about the European Union and continued to name Russia and China as opponents in particular arenas of national activity.
His latest statements come days after the special counsel indicted 12 Russian intelligence agents for interference in the 2016 US presidential election. Naming the Kremlin in his list, Trump said, “Russia’s a foe in certain respects.”
“China is a foe economically, certainly they are a foe,” he told CBS. “But that doesn’t mean they are bad. It doesn’t mean anything. It means that they are competitive. They want to do well and we want to do well.”
A trade war between China and the US escalated last week after China imposed retaliatory tariffs on $34 billion of mostly US agricultural products.
President Trump tells @jeffglor the European Union is a “foe” of the United States. The president also said Russia is a “foe in certain respects” and China “is a foe economically.” pic.twitter.com/yVeXYRmFn8
— Face The Nation (@FaceTheNation) July 15, 2018
European Council President Donald Tusk hit back at the “foe” comments on Twitter, calling any mischaracterization of the US and EU’s close relationship “fake news”, a phrase Trump uses often.
America and the EU are best friends. Whoever says we are foes is spreading fake news.
— Donald Tusk (@eucopresident) July 15, 2018
As for the EU, Trump doubled down on his calls for NATO members to contribute more money.
“I respect the leaders of those countries,” he told CBS. “But, in a trade sense, they’ve really taken advantage of us and many of those countries are in NATO and they weren’t paying their bills.”
“They’re going to be paying Russia billions and billions of dollars a year for energy, and I say that’s not good, that’s not fair,” Trump told CBS. “You’re supposed to be fighting for someone and then that someone gives billions of dollars to the one you’re, you know, guarding against. I think it’s ridiculous.”
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.
Trump is meeting Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki on Monday.