Wolfgang Ischinger, the Chairman of the Munich Security Conference and German ambassador to Washington from 2001 until 2006, made the shock revelation before the publication of his book ‘World in Danger’, in which he urges Germany not to give up on the US because of Mr Trump, while also pressing them to accept more global responsibility.
Speaking to Reuters, Mr Ischinger said: “The longer Trump remains in office, the harder it will be to stand up to those in this country and elsewhere in Europe who have been arguing since the Vietnam war that we need to cut the cord with America the bully.
“It would become much harder for the German government to stay the course and defend this relationship.
”And the forces calling for a closer relationship with countries like Russia or China might be emboldened.”
Since becoming US President in January 2017, Donald Trump has infuriated a number of global superpowers with his hardline political tactics, sparking various trade wars and potential nuclear feuds.
In just over 18 months, he has withdrawn the US from the Paris climate accord, taken it out of the Iran nuclear deal and threaten to pull away from the World Trade Organisation.
His relationship with Germany and in particular Chancellor Angela Merkel has become increasingly strained, repeatedly attacking what was once considered its most trusted ally outside of Europe.
Mr Trump has consistently threatened to pull the US out of NATO as he believes that other member states are not contributing enough, demanding that they increase their military spending to two percent “immediately”.
He has also attacked Germany over its involvement in the $11 billion Nord Stream 2 offshore natural gas pipeline from Vyborg in Russia to Greifswald in Germany.
In July, a poll conducted by RTL/n-tv barometer revealed 56 percent of Germans think Europe can defend itself without the help of the US, with 84 percent thinking Mr Trump’s claims that Germany will be “totally controlled by Russia” because of its natural gas imports are “completely outlandish”.
A survey by the Pew Research Centre last year showed than just 35 percent of Germans have a favourable view of the US under Mr Trump’s leadership.
Another poll by the Koerber Foundation suggested that Germans see the US President as a bigger foreign policy problem than authoritarian leaders in North Korea, Russia and Turkey.
Mr Ischinger is worried about Mr Trump’s use of sanctions as a foreign policy tactic, and his repeated threats to punish Germany involved with the multi-billion dollar Nord Stream 2 project, claiming it could be “poisonous” to their relationship.
He said: “If US sanctions are applied to prevent Nord Stream 2, the repercussions will be poisonous for the transatlantic relationship.
“Even if you have doubts about the wisdom of Nord Stream 2, it is hard not to see this as a serious violation, as an instance of the U.S. forcing its views on the Europeans.”
When responding to Mr Trump’s claims that Germany was controlled by Russia, Ms Merkel said Germany determined their own “international policies and make our own independent decisions”.
Mr Ischinger praised the Chancellor on this stance but urged Germany to put her words into action.
He said: “It’s not enough to declare that we want to assume more responsibility.
“We need to show where the beef is, and that there is beef.
“There need to be budgetary consequences.”