Advertisement

  1. ITV Report

President Donald Trump dubs EU a 'foe' ahead of high-stakes summit with Russian leader Vladimir Putin

US President Donald Trump has named the EU a top adversary of the United States and denounced the media as the “enemy of the people” on the eve of his high-stakes summit with Russia’s Vladimir Putin.

In an interview with CBS News, the president also targeted comments at Russia and China.

“I think the European Union is a foe, what they do to us in trade,” he said.

“You wouldn’t think of the European Union but they’re a foe.

"Russia's a foe in certain respects, China's a foe economically certainly, they're a foe … but that doesn’t mean they are bad.

"It doesn’t mean anything. It means that they are competitors, they want to do well and we want to do well."

The controversial US leader also added that he was going into the meeting with Mr Putin with "low expectations," but did add that "nothing bad is going to come out of it, and maybe some good will come out."

The president will meet with Russian leader Vladimir Putin on Monday. Credit: AP

Mr Trump added that he had given no thought to asking Mr Putin to extradite the dozen Russian military intelligence officers indicted this past week on charges related to the hacking of Democratic targets in the 2016 US presidential election.

After being given the idea by his interviewer, Mr Trump said he would "certainly be asking about it," though it is highly unlikely due to the US having no extradition treaty with Moscow.

Donald Trump arrived in Helsinki late on Sunday for the talks with Mr Putin which will take place on Monday.

He will first head to to the Presidential Palace for breakfast with Finnish President Sauli Niinisto, and meet President Putin there later in the day.

Mr Trump will head to the talks with little clear agenda other than to strengthen his personal rapport with Mr Putin, which he believes is crucial to improving relations between Washington and Moscow.

Mr Trump's visit to the UK was fraught with tension following a multitude of controversial comments. Credit: PA

Speaking to Piers Morgan on ITV's Good Morning Britain, President Trump said of Mr Putin, "I don’t know him... I met him a couple of times, I met him at the G20.

"I think we could probably get along very well. Somebody said are you friends or enemies?

"I said well it’s too early to say but right now I say we’re competitors, but for Russia and the United States, and frankly the UK and other places, to get along with Russia and China and all of these other places…. Piers that’s a good thing, that’s not a bad thing. That’s a really good thing."

  • President Trump flew to Helsinki in his Air Force One jet on Sunday afternoon

The president's trip to Finland follows a four day visit to the UK, where his busy schedule included meetings with Prime Minister Theresa May and afternoon tea with the Queen.

Mr Trump successfully avoided the many protests against his visit, despite marches being prevalent in central London and many other British cities.

Ahead of his visit to Helsinki, Mr Trump posted a series of tweets: "Heading to Helsinki, Finland – looking forward to meeting with President Putin tomorrow," he wrote.

"Unfortunately, no matter how well I do at the Summit, if I was given the great city of Moscow as retribution for all of the sins and evils committed by Russia over the years, I would return to criticism that it wasn’t good enough – that I should have gotten Saint Petersburg in addition!

"Much of our news media is indeed the enemy of the people and all the Dems know how to do is resist and obstruct!

"This is why there is such hatred and dissension in our country – but at some point, it will heal!"

Before leaving the US for his visit to Europe, he said his meeting with the Russian president "may be the easiest of all."

Sorry, this content isn't available on your device.

Sorry, this content isn't available on your device.

Sorry, this content isn't available on your device.

One thing the two controversial leaders will have in common is their disdain for the press, with Mr Trump regularly criticising American news outlets.

Prior to the summit, Mr Trump complained on Twitter, saying, "No matter how well I do at the Summit," he'll face "criticism that it wasn't good enough.

"If I was given the great city of Moscow as retribution for all of the sins and evils committed by Russia over the years, I would return to criticism that it wasn't good enough that I should have gotten Saint Petersburg in addition!," he wrote.

Trump's meeting with Putin will be under the microscope. Credit: AP

Mr Trump and Mr Putin have held talks several times before.

Their first meeting came last July when both attended an international summit and continued speaking for more than two hours - well over the scheduled 30 minute allowance.

The leaders also met last autumn during separate talks in Vietnam.

Finland has a long legacy of hosting US-Soviet and US-Russian summits due to its geographic location and perceived neutrality.