Trump said in a weekend interview with the Times of London and Germany’s Bild newspaper that the 28-nation European Union was a vehicle for German interests and said that he was indifferent to the bloc’s fate. He also said he was committed to European defense even as he expressed skepticism about NATO’s current configuration.
Trump’s attitudes have alarmed Europe, which is facing a wave of elections this year in which anti-immigrant, Euroskeptic leaders could gain in power. Most mainstream leaders had committed to working with Trump after his inauguration Jan. 20, even as they expressed hope that he would moderate his views once he took office. His hard line has created the grim realization in Europe that they may now have to stand alone, without their oldest, strongest partner.