During a Cabinet meeting last week, President Donald Trump told the press just how much he cared about Europeans’ opinion of him.
He was discussing his relationship with European countries where he experienced extremely low levels of confidence. Pew Research Center numbers revealed that many worldwide had more confidence in the leaders of Russia, China, France, and Germany.
Among European countries, Trump saw a median of 82 percent saying they had “no confidence” in him.
Those figures came after Trump broke with the international community and withdrew from the Paris climate accord in 2017. He also publicly criticized European nations for giving the U.S. a raw deal on trade and North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) contributions.
“The rich countries really do take advantage of us because they pay a very small percentage of their military and they cheat on trade,” Trump said last week.
He went on to say that he got elected for speaking up on unfair deals with foreign nations.
“When they say I’m not popular in Europe — I shouldn’t be popular in Europe,” he said. “If I was popular in Europe, I wouldn’t be doing my job because I want Europe to pay.”
Watch his comments below:
Trump also singled out Germany, appearing to reference how it only contributed around 1 percent of its gross domestic product to NATO.
“They should be paying 4 percent,” he said. “[…] So when I say, ‘I’m sorry, folks, you have to pay up,’ I shouldn’t be popular in Europe.”
He added that he didn’t “care” what Europe thought about him because he answered to Americans, not Europeans.
“They do a poll, I was at 88 percent, and now I’m at, you know, a very low number in Europe. I don’t care about Europe. I’m not elected by Europeans. I’m elected by Americans and by American taxpayers, frankly,” he said.