LONDON | The Latest: Germany criticizes Trump's provocative words

LONDON | The Latest: Germany criticizes Trump’s provocative words

LONDON — The Latest on President Donald Trump’s trip to Europe (all times local):

2:15 p.m.

Germany’s current and former foreign ministers are criticizing comments made by U.S. President Donald Trump about their country and European allies.

In extracts of an interview with German weekly Der Spiegel published Friday, Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said Trump’s verbal attacks against Germany endangered the West’s security.

Spiegel quoted Maas saying that “Europe can’t accept that what’s been built up over many years is intentionally damaged for the thrill of being provocative.”

Trump had claimed at a Wednesday breakfast with NATO‘s secretary general that a new natural gas pipeline to Russia has left Germany “captive” to Moscow.

Maas told Spiegel that “we aren’t prisoners, neither to Russia nor to the U.S.”

His predecessor, Sigmar Gabriel, told the magazine that “Trump endangers world peace by consciously splitting the Western alliance and disregarding its values.

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12:15 p.m.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan has told Sky News that it is up to President Donald Trump to explain why he keeps singling out the mayor for criticism.

London’s first Muslim mayor says Friday that many major cities, including Paris, Brussels and Berlin, have suffered terrorism attacks but that Trump has chosen to only criticize him. He says it’s for Trump to explain why he focuses only on Kahn.

The mayor also challenges Trump’s claim that Europe is “losing its culture” because of immigration. Khan says immigration has brought “huge” social, economic and cultural benefits to London and to Britain.

Trump heavily criticized Khan in an interview published Thursday in The Sun newspaper.

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11:55 a.m.

President Donald Trump says his relationship with British Prime Minister Theresa May is “very, very strong” even after a published interview in which he questioned her handling of Brexit.

Trump says alongside May at Chequers, the prime minister’s country estate, that during their dinner “we probably never developed a better relationship than last night.”

He says they’re discussing trade and military issues and is calling their relationship “very, very strong. We really have a very good relationship.”

May notes the U.S. is “our longest-standing and deepest security and defense partner” and credits Trump for pushing NATO partners to increase their defense spending.

Trump questions May’s handling of Brexit in an interview with The Sun newspaper and says May’s former foreign secretary, Boris Johnson, would make an “excellent” prime minister.

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11:45 a.m.

European Union and Schengen-area member Finland says it has temporarily introduced checks on its internal borders due to the upcoming summit by U.S and Russian leaders in Helsinki

The government said Friday’s decision is a security measure related to the meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin in Helsinki on July 16.

Tightened control is valid for four days starting 0900 GMT Friday until 0900 GMT Tuesday with focus on the airports of Helsinki and the western city of Turku.

International passenger harbors in both cities will also under tighter scrutiny by police and border guard.

Officials said random checks would be done as necessary on the Finnish-Swedish and the Finnish-Norwegian border points.

Trump and Putin have met twice earlier on the sidelines of international meetings.

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11:15 a.m.

President Donald Trump has viewed a joint military exercise along with British Prime Minister Theresa May at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst.

Trump’s visit to the military academy on Friday morning was closed to the media. The military demonstration involving American and British officers came after Trump criticized May’s Brexit plans in an interview published by The Sun newspaper late Thursday night.

Trump and May later traveled to Chequers, the prime minister’s country retreat. Trump told reporters briefly that he and May worked together on NATO spending and spoke Thursday night.

The two leaders will hold one-on-one talks, a working lunch and a joint news conference at May’s house, which is 40 miles (65 kms) from London.

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10:45 a.m.

U.S. first lady Melania Trump is visiting the Royal Hospital Chelsea, a historic London retirement home for hundreds of former British soldiers.

Mrs. Trump split off from her husband Friday morning for the solo outing to the hospital, which dates from over 300 years ago to the reign of King Charles II.

The first lady was hosted by British Prime Minister Theresa May’s husband, Philip May.

She will meet local schoolchildren and mingle with the hospital’s resident veterans, known as Chelsea Pensioners.

Her trip to Europe with U.S. President Donald Trump marked the former model’s return to the international stage after she was hospitalized for a kidney condition in May and dropped out of public sight for nearly a month.

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9:40 a.m.

France’s foreign minister says Europe will stand up to U.S. President Donald Trump’s efforts to “destabilize” the EU and derail international cooperation.

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said Friday on BFM television that Trump “can’t tolerate that there is an ensemble called the European Union.” But, he added, “Europe will not let itself be destabilized.”

The top French diplomat spoke as Trump is paying a tumultuous trip to Europe.

Queen Le Drian says Trump only believes in conflictual relationships, and accused him of trying to destroy multilateral efforts to encourage trade, fight climate change and Iran’s nuclear activities.

Trump angered European allies at a NATO summit this week and then accused British Prime Minister Theresa May of being too soft with the EU on Brexit negotiations.

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9 a.m.

President Donald Trump is continuing to court controversy during his trip to Europe.

Trump is in London, where his day will start with a viewing of a military demonstration before he heads to meetings with British Prime Minister Theresa May at Chequers, May’s county house.

The meetings are expected to be unusually tense after Trump trashed May’s Brexit plans in a diplomacy-wrecking interview with The Sun newspaper that published late Thursday night.

The president will also be paying a visit to Windsor Castle where he and first lady Melania Trump will have tea with Queen Elizabeth II.

Large anti-Trump protests are expected to follow Trump throughout the day.

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7:56 a.m.

President Donald Trump is dishing up a fresh dose of chaos on his European tour, blasting British Prime Minister Theresa May in a published interview.

Trump is questioning May’s handling of Brexit in an interview with The Sun newspaper and blaming London’s mayor for terror attacks against the city. The president is also arguing that Europe is “losing its culture” because of immigration.

Trump told the newspaper he felt unwelcome in London because of protests, including plans to fly a giant balloon depicting him as an angry baby.

Trump says May’s former foreign secretary, Boris Johnson, would make an “excellent” prime minister, speaking just days after Johnson resigned his position in protest of May’s Brexit plans.

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By Associated Press