President Donald Trump said the European Union is a "foe" of the United States for "what they do to us in trade" - a statement refuted by European Council President Donald Tusk as "fake news".
"Well, I think we have a lot of foes ... Now you wouldn't think of the European Union, but they're a foe," he said after being asked who the US' biggest adversary is globally in an interview aired by CBS' Face the Nation programme on Sunday.
Trump added the EU has "really taken advantage of us on trade" though this "does not mean that they are bad".
"Russia is a foe in certain respects. China is a foe economically, certainly; they are a foe. But that doesn't mean they are bad. It doesn't mean anything. It means that they are competitive," said Trump.
He also again complained "it's a very bad thing for Germany" that the country depends on Russian gas, for which it is paying "billions" to Moscow.
In response to Trump's remarks, Tusk said the EU and the US are "best friends".
"Whoever says we are foes is spreading fake news," Tusk, who is also a former Polish prime minister, wrote on Twitter.
The US has imposed tariffs on steel and aluminium against the EU and other allies, sparking retaliation.
A trade war is also under way with China after the US implemented tariffs for what it called unfair trade practices by Beijing.
British Prime Minister Theresa May, whose country is in talks with the EU to leave the bloc, revealed on Sunday that Trump advised her to sue the EU instead of negotiating Brexit.