Trump attacks Merkel, Nato and EU
The world prepares for four years of Donald Trump quotes. Source: Flickr
He also warned that his trust in German chancellor Angela Merkel “may not last long at all”, placing the veteran leader alongside Russian President Vladimir Putin as a potentially problematic ally.
Merkel’s open-door policy for migrants got the Trump treatment in a joint interview with Germany’s Bild and the UK’s Times.
“I think she made one very catastrophic mistake and that was taking all of these illegals, you know, taking all of the people from wherever they come from,” Trump said.
“And nobody even knows where they come from. So I think she made a catastrophic mistake, very bad mistake.”
Doing little to improve Germany’s domestic harmony, Trump said Germans had “got a clear impression” of the consequences Merkel’s policy from the Berlin terror attack that killed 12 people last month.
In his one of his trademark non-sequiturs, Trump said he had “great respect” for Merkel and would start the job this week trusting the “fantastic leader” but that his trust might not last long.
Trump said he would offer London a trade deal within weeks of taking office to help make Britain’s planned departure from the EU a “great thing”.
“We’re going to work very hard to get it done quickly and done properly. Good for both sides,” Trump told the two newspapers.
“I will be meeting with [Prime Minister Theresa May]. She’s requesting a meeting and we’ll have a meeting right after I get into the White House and it’ll be, I think we’re going to get something done very quickly.”
The reality could be more complex as it might take decades for Britain to break all European trade ties.
In the wide-ranging interview he told former UK cabinet minister, leading Brexit campaigner and ex-Times columnist Michael Gove: “They have sanctions on Russia, let’s see if we can make some good deals with Russia. For one thing, I think nuclear weapons should be way down and reduced very substantially, that’s part of it.”
Laying out yesterday’s position on Nato, Trump said the military alliance “has problems”.
“It’s obsolete, first because it was designed many, many years ago,” Trump told Bild. “Secondly, countries aren’t paying what they should” and Nato “didn’t deal with terrorism”. He said only five Nato members were investing the required amount.