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Trump brands Europe 'a foe of US' before Putin meeting

 

US President Donald Trump has branded the European Union a top adversary of the United States and denounced the news media as the "enemy of the people" before arriving in Helsinki on the eve of his high-stakes summit with Russia's Vladimir Putin.

He and his top aides were downplaying expectations for today's summit as Trump continued to rattle allies by lumping the EU in with Russia and China after barnstorming across Europe, causing chaos at the recent Nato summit and in a trip to the UK.

His comments emerged hours after Theresa May revealed the American leader had told her she should "should sue the EU" instead of negotiating the terms of Brexit.

Appearing on BBC1's The Andrew Marr Show, the Prime Minister said: "He told me I should sue the EU. Not go into negotiation, sue them."

She added: "What the President also said at that Press conference was: 'Don't walk away. Don't walk away from the negotiations. Then you're stuck'."

Trump spent the weekend in Scotland at his resort in Turnberry, golfing, tweeting and granting an interview to CBS News in which he put the EU at the top of his list of biggest global foes.

"I think the European Union is a foe, what they do to us in trade," Trump said, adding that "you wouldn't think of the European Union, but they're a foe".

He said that Russia is a foe "in certain respects" and that China is a foe "economically ... but that doesn't mean they are bad. It doesn't mean anything. It means that they are competitive".

Trump has been reluctant to criticise Putin over the years and has described him in recent days not as an enemy but as a competitor.

Yesterday Trump flew to Finland, the final stop on a weeklong trip that began last Tuesday.

The President departed Glasgow Prestwick Airport just after 4pm yesterday after four days in the UK, during which he met May and the Queen and played golf at one of his Scottish resorts, all against the backdrop of mass protests against his visit.

Earlier on Sunday Mr Trump played a round of golf at Turnberry in South Ayrshire where he had been staying with wife Melania for two nights during the private leg of his visit.

While he was on the course, Police Scotland announced it had arrested a man in connection with an aerial protest during Mr Trump's arrival at the Trump Turnberry hotel on Friday night.

A 55-year-old man is due in Ayr Sheriff Court today.

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