Donald Trump has praised the UK for opting to vote to leave the European Union, and blasted Angela Merkel for the "catastrophic mistake" of opening its doors to refugees.
The US President-elect gave his first interview since the election to The Times and German tabloid Bild, and said the UK was "smart" to vote for leaving the EU.
Mr Trump, who is due to be inaugurated on Thursday, told former Tory leadership contender Michael Gove - who conducted the interview for The Times - he would draw up a trade deal with the UK quickly once the country leaves the bloc, and said he understood why people voted to leave.
He said: "You look at the EU and it's basically a vehicle for Germany.
"I think keeping it together isn't going to be as easy as people think. So I thought the UK was smart for getting out.
“I’m a big fan of the UK. We’re going to work very hard to get it [a trade deal] done properly and quickly."
He also told the media organisations that while he respected Angela Merkel, he believes her open-door refugee policy was "a serious mistake."
He asserted: "I respect her and like her but I think it was a mistake.
"There's been a clear impression of this. Letting all these people in, wherever they come from, I'm of the opinion she made a catastrophic mistake."