Paris (AFP) - It would be "extremely difficult" for the European Union to work with Donald Trump if the Republican wins the US presidential race in November, a European commissioner said Wednesday.
Economic Affairs Commissioner Pierre Moscovici said that while the EU had not taken an official position on whether to back Trump or Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton, he hoped a Trump presidency "could be avoided".
"When I see Donald Trump, I see the face of a populist and I see words which are criticised by members of the Republican Party, and not just any members," he told French media.
Moscovici recalled that US House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan on Tuesday described Trump's criticism of a Mexican-American judge as "racist", although Ryan also reiterated his support for Trump as the presumptive Republican presidential nominee.
Moscovici, who is a former French finance minister, said that with Trump, "I see anti-European words and I see protectionist words".
"It would be extremely difficult to work with a Trump administration," he said.
"I hope we can avoid it, speaking as a political leader."
But Moscovici added: "At the same time, if Donald Trump becomes president of the United States, he would have this legitimacy and we would have to work with him."