CBS anchorman Jeff Glor had asked the president who he thought was the nation's "biggest competitor" or "biggest foe".
"I think she made one very catastrophic mistake and that was taking all of these illegals (sic), you know taking all of the people from wherever they come from", Trump said in a joint interview published by German daily Bild and British newspaper The Times, referring to Merkel's open-door policy for refugees fleeing war and persecution.
"Well, I think we have a lot of foes". Naming the Kremlin in his list, Trump said, "Russia's a foe in certain respects". China is a foe economically, certainly they are a foe.
Donald Trump named the European Union as a foe to the United States. "It means that they are competitive", said Trump.
Although his mother, Mary Anne MacLeod Trump, was born in Scotland, his father, Fred Trump, was, in fact, born in New York City. He will hold talks with the Russian president in Helsinki on Monday.
"I respect the leaders of those countries", he said.
The president also tells CBS News that he "hadn't thought" about asking Putin to extradite the dozen Russian military intelligence officers indicted this past week in Washington on charges related to the hacking of Democratic targets in the 2016 USA election, but says that "certainly I'll be asking about it". Trump responded that he "looks" at everybody and loves many European countries - noting that he has family ties to Scotland and Germany.
Trump repeated his previous assertion that the European Union has "really taken advantage of us on trade".
Shortly after the publication of the CBS interview, European Council President Donald Tusk wrote on Twitter that "America and the EU are best friends".
He then returned to the theme of Germany's reliance on Nord Stream 2, a pipeline which will increase the flow of gas to European Union states and which he controversially criticised ahead of last week's North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit.
"Most of its members our North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies", he adds, which goes to the heart of why Trump just declared the EU America's "foe". During his trip, Trump made several disparaging comments about North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies like Germany and the UK. "What, are they waving a white flag?" he added.
He said: "There's a lot of anger at the fact that Germany is paying Russian Federation billions of dollars".