The European Union was created in order to “beat the United States when it comes to making money”, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump believes.
"The reason that it got together was like a consortium so that it could compete with the US," Trump told NBC News.
The billionaire's statements come after the UK's Brexit vote, which Trump both encouraged beforehand and commended afterwards.
The EU was created in 1952 as the European Coal and Steel Community in an effort to create closer ties after World War 2, initially declared as "a first step in the federation of Europe."
Since then it has grown, with the European Economic Community founding in 1957. It has since grown to 28-member states with close economic and political ties.
Trump also used the interview to double down on recent remarks made about Nato. He has said other countries in the alliance need to pay more to the US if it is to meet the obligation of mutual defence.
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Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell said last week: "I want to reassure our Nato allies that if any of them get attacked, we’ll be there to defend them."
However, Trump said that he is "100 per cent wrong".
He further said that he is now exploring the idea of a blanket ban on people travelling to the US from "territories" compromised by terrorism, rather than just Muslims.