Donald Trump Says European Union 'Is a Foe' Bigger Than Russia and China

The day before President Donald Trump's planned meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, the commander in chief said Sunday that the European Union "is a foe" greater than Russia, as well as China.

Related: Impeach Trump ad links Putin threat to Revolutionary War and Paul Revere

Trump made the admission when CBS News' Jeff Glor on Face the Nation asked, "Who's your biggest competitor, your biggest foe, globally right now?"

"Well, I think we have a lot of foes. I think the European Union is a foe, what they do to us in trade," Trump replied from one of his Trump Turnberry golf courses in Scotland. "Now you wouldn't think of the European Union, but they're a foe."

"Russia is a foe in certain respects," Trump continued. "China is a foe economically, certainly they are a foe, but that doesn't mean they are bad. It doesn't mean anything. It means that they are competitors."

When asked to identify his "biggest foe globally right now," President Trump told @jeffglor the European Union is a “foe” of the U.S. The president also said Russia is a “foe in certain respects” and China is a "foe economically.”

— CBS News (@CBSNews) July 15, 2018

Trump said it means "They want to do well and we want to do well," and added that the U.S. is starting to do well with black and Hispanic unemployment at their lowest levels in history, and women's unemployment at its lowest in 66 years.

The U.S. president also claimed it was hard for him to be hard on the EU because "both my parents" were born there—though his father was born in New York.

"You know I love those countries. I respect the leaders of those countries, but, in a trade sense, they've really taken advantage of us," Trump said. "And many of those countries are in NATO and they weren't paying their bills."

Trump has complained about the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) since his presidential campaign, blasting U.S. allies for not paying 2 percent of their gross domestic product toward their own defense, as was laid out in agreements.

During a NATO summit last week, Trump upped his demand to U.S. allies, asking that they not only meet their contribution of 2 percent of their gross domestic product, but increase it to 4 percent.

"President Trump wants to see our allies share more of the burden and at a very minimum meet their already stated obligations," White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement.

Trump imposed steep tariffs on EU imports earlier this year and called existing trade policies unfair to the U.S.

Trump's meeting with Putin in Helsinki on Monday comes three days after the Department of Justice indicted 12 Russians as part of special counsel Robert Mueller's probe into Russia meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

Putin has denied Russian interference, and Trump has called Mueller's investigation a witch hunt.

In this photo provided by the German Government Press Office (BPA), German Chancellor Angela Merkel deliberates with U.S. President Donald Trump on the sidelines of the official agenda on the second day of the G7 summit on June 9 in Charlevoix, Canada. Jesco Denzel /Bundesregierung via Getty Images