Senior European officials say they are starting to see President Donald Trump as ‘separate’ from the United States. The officials who spoke with ABC News say they are focusing on the long history of partnership between the U.S. and Europe rather than the words of the president after he called the European Union a “foe” in an interview with CBS.
Donald Tusk, president of the European Council in a tweet Sunday night said “America and the EU are best friends. Whoever says we are foes is spreading fake news.”
One senior European official called the news “shocking” while another called it “outrageous” to hear a U.S. president compare the relationship with the European Union to that of China and Russia.
The officials admitted that if Trump’s re-election for a second term is successful, it will send a strong message from the American people that the U.S.-Europe relationship has changed.
No policy was changed substantially at the NATO summit, and in fact many saw the final communiqué as a win says a senior NATO official.
Before the President’s Helsinki summit, European officials also noted that they fear Trump more than his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin.
“Putin has a strategic line of confrontation with Europe, but with Trump we don’t know what to expect, there is no line of thought,” the European official said.