The contradictory US president’s inclination is to side with those who want to break up the EU

Donald Trump’s Jekyll and Hyde performance on the opening leg of his European tour – one minute angrily wielding a wrecking ball and the next playing the oleaginous anglophile – will hardly leave European diplomats, especially those in Britain, reassured as they brace themselves for his bilateral summit with Vladimir Putin on Monday.

It is this meeting – the two men have met only two and a half times before according to Trump’s own arithmetic – that contains the most serious risk to the battered western alliance.

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