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>> The EU?>> Yes Sir.>> I'm totally in favor of it. I mean, I think it's wonderful if they're happy. If they're happy, I'm in favor of it.>> US president Donald Trump, in an exclusive interview with Reuters, offering unexpected praise for the European Union, the political and economic block he's famously predicted would dissolve in the past.
Bewildering diplomats watching the Trump doctrine evolve in front of them. Reuters Alastair McDonald is the bureau chief in Brussels, the heart of EU politics.>> People here could scarcely believe their eyes when they saw that headline. They believe that this is a message that Trump has heard from his Vice President, Mike Pence, who was in Brussels just a few days ago on Monday.
And was quite taken aback, we understand, by the strength of feeling and concern expressed to him. That they were concerned that America was turning its backs on decades, pretty much the whole post-war history of support for Europe coming together.>> While European officials have welcomed the sudden change, they're also wary.
On the campaign trail, Trump was open in his mistrust of the EU, lauding Britain's divorce from it and anticipating other countries would follow. His month-old administration has already sought to circumvent Brussels, setting up new bilateral deals instead. And the White House's chief strategist, Steve Bannon, is an open Euro skeptic.
Diplomatic sources say he continued his hard-line stance in private communications with Germany's ambassador a week before Pence's visit.>> One of the big problems here for people is understanding what is real, what is really gonna be put into action, and what is mere rhetoric. In the words of one senior official, it's Pence 1, Bannon 0, but it's the end only of the first quarter.
>> Trump has also softened his stance on NATO, the alliance he once called obsolete. Europe now waiting to see what Trump's next message might bring.