Trump Calls European Union a Foe: 'What They Do to Us in Trade'

July 15, 2018

President Donald Trump said during a Sunday interview with CBS News anchor Jeff Glor that the European Union is a foe.

"What's your biggest competitor, the biggest foe globally right now?" Glor asked the president

"Well, I think we have a lot of foes. I think the European Union is a foe, what they do to us in trade," Trump said. "Now, you wouldn't think of the European Union, but they're a foe."

His recent comments reflect a more confrontational position Trump has taken with European allies. Last week, Trump embarked on a foreign tour in Europe that began with a NATO conference, a visit to the United Kingdom and is expected to end with a summit in Finland with Russian President Vladamir Putin. During his trip, Trump made several disparaging comments about NATO allies, including Germany and the U.K. He also criticized the NATO alliance by saying member states are not paying their required amount of money for their defense and asserted that they were taking advantage of the United States.

Trump added that Russian and China are also foes "in certain respects."

"Russia is foe in certain respects. China is a foe economically, certainly they are a foe. But that doesn't mean they are bad. It doesn't mean anything. It means that they are competitive," he said.

"A lot of people might be surprised to hear you list the E.U. as a foe before China and Russia," Glor responded.

"The E.U. is very difficult," Trump began. "I respect the leaders of those countries. 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."

Trump then repeated his criticism of Germany's Nord Stream 2 pipeline with Russia.

"Germany made a pipeline deal with Russia. Where 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. 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, so I let that be known also this time," Trump said.

European Council President Donald Tusk shot back on Twitter.

"America and the EU are best friends. Whoever says we are foes is spreading fake news," Tusk tweeted.