Donald Trump has called the European Union a “foe” of America, as he lands in Helsinki for a summit with Vladimir Putin.
The US president left the UK after another round of golf at his Turnberry resort on Sunday after a four-day visit. He will hold talks with the Russian president in Helsinki on Monday.
Ahead of the highly anticipated talks, he said has “low expectations” but added that he thinks that “maybe some good” will come of them.
Mr Trump said the US has “a lot of foes” and named the bloc as one of them.
“I think the European Union is a foe, what they do to us in trade,” he said in an interview to CBS News while in Scotland.
He added: “You wouldn’t think of the European Union, but they’re a foe.”
Mr Trump said he respects Europe’s leaders but says they have taken advantage of the US on trade and defence spending.
“”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,” he added.
Earlier this week, Mr Trump claimed NATO spending will increase “like never before”. However the French president, Emmanuel Macron, denied he claim that NATO allies agreed to boost spending over 2%.
Mr Trump has also previously said countries in the EU “treat us very badly, they treat us very unfairly.”
Mr Trump said: “I can say it better in a different way. They made, last year, $151bn in trade surplus. We had a deficit with the EU.
“On top of that, we spend a fortune on NATO to protect them.”
His latest comment on the bloc, that has been one of America’s staunchest allies, drew sharp condemnation from the European Council President Donald Tusk.
“America and the EU are best friends. Whoever says we are foes is spreading fake news,” Mr Tusk said on Twitter.
Mr Trump also singled out others as America’s enemies.
“Russia is a foe in certain respects. China is a foe economically, certainly they are a foe,” said Mr Trump. “But that doesn’t mean they are bad. It doesn’t mean anything.
“It means that they are competitive.”
Ahead of his meeting with Mr Putin, Mr Trump has been urged to raise the death of a woman who was exposed to novichok in Amesbury and criminal charges being brought against a dozen Russians accused of hacking Democratic Party emails during the 2016 US presidential election.
It comes after Mr Trump’s first official visit to the UK as president, during which he met with the Queen and held talks with Prime Minister Theresa May as protests raged against him in London, Glasgow, Manchester and elsewhere.
The Trumps departed Glasgow Prestwick Airport hours after police charged a man over a stunt in which a paragliding protester flew above the president as he entered Turberry Hotel on Friday night.
Greenpeace organised the powered parachute, which appeared at around 9.45pm, and a banner reading “Trump Well Below Par” was unfurled on the roof.
Although Greenpeace insisted it had informed police of the plans in advance, the protester was said to have breached a no-fly zone and committed a criminal offence.
The giant baby blimp depicting Mr Trump as a snarling, orange, nappy-wearing infant also made an appearance in Edinburgh, having debuted in London after being granted approval to fly by mayor Sadiq Khan.
He leaves the UK having left Theresa May with the job of clearing up a number of controversial comments he made during his visit, including his advice for how to negotiate Brexit.
The prime minister has revealed that Mr Trump told her to “sue the EU”, having already faced suggestions from him that her strategy would “kill” hopes of a US-UK trade deal.
Although Mr Trump later backtracked on those claims following talks with Mrs May on Friday, the US president confirmed Mrs May had ignored his “suggestion” on how to deal with Brexit negotiations as “maybe too brutal”.