German diplomat: Trump could push Germany toward Russia, China

German diplomat: Trump could push Germany toward Russia, China

A former German ambassador to the United States is warning that President TrumpDonald John TrumpSunday shows preview: Trump sells U.N. reorganizing and Kavanaugh allegations dominate Ex-Trump staffer out at CNN amid “false and defamatory accusations” Democrats opposed to Pelosi lack challenger to topple her MORE's policies could push Germany away from the U.S. and closer toward Russia and China.

“The longer Trump remains in office, the harder it will be to stand up to those in this country and elsewhere in Europe who have been arguing since the Vietnam war that we need to cut the cord with America the bully,” Wolfgang Ischinger told Reuters in an interview published Monday.

“It would become much harder for the German government to stay the course and defend this relationship,” he added. “And the forces calling for a closer relationship with countries like Russia or China might be emboldened.”

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Trump, who has threatened to impose tariffs on German cars and has blasted alliances such as NATO and the World Trade Organization, has had a tense relationship with Germany and Chancellor Angela Merkel during his time in office. 

In his interview with Reuters, Ischinger also criticized Trump for threatening earlier this summer to go after Germany and others involved in the Nord Stream 2 pipeline project with Russia.

"If U.S. sanctions are applied to prevent Nord Stream 2, the repercussions will be poisonous for the transatlantic relationship,” he said. “Even if you have doubts about the wisdom of Nord Stream 2, it is hard not to see this as a serious violation, as an instance of the U.S. forcing its views on the Europeans.”