During an interview in Scotland, President Donald Trump said the European Union, Russia and China were “foes” of the United States, CNN reports.
“I think we have a lot of foes. 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,” the President said in a CBS News interview at his golf club in Scotland, aired on Sunday.
Trump further said that in some regards, Russia was a foe as well. “China is a foe economically, certainly they are a foe. But that doesn’t mean they’re bad. It doesn’t mean anything. It means that they are competitive. They want to do well and we want to do well.”
Following President Trump’s comments, senior European officials said they would not focus on his harsh words, but rather on the EU’s long history of partnership with the U.S. ABC News writes that European Council President Donald Tusk tweeted Sunday night, “America and the EU are best friends. Whoever says we are foes is spreading fake news.”
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg reportedly made similar comments, telling EU officials not to “pay attention to the words” but to look to the deeds.
European officials were nonetheless appalled by Trump’s comments, saying it was “shocking” to hear a U.S. make a parallel between the EU and China and Russia. They also stressed, however, that if the American people reelected Trump, that would clearly indicate the United States has changed its relationship with Europe.
EU officials are also worried about the Helsinki summit between Trump and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin because, as they said, “with Trump we don’t know what to expect, there is no line of thought.”
Tusk tweeted Monday morning his concerns that Trump will further rock the world order today at his meeting with Putin.
“Europe and China, America and Russia, today in Beijing and in Helsinki, are jointly responsible for improving the world order, not for destroying it. I hope this message reaches Helsinki,” Tusk tweeted.