United States President-elect Donald Trump has said that the United Kingdom was “doing great” after the country in a referendum in June 2016 had decided to leave the European Union. He backed the country’s decision and said the UK was “so smart to get out”. He made the statements during an interview to former justice secretary and pro-Brexit campaigner Michael Gove. The interview was published in British daily The Times on Monday.

The president-elect said Brexit would end up “being a great thing”. “Countries want their own identity and the UK wanted its own identity, but I do think if they hadn’t been forced to take in all of the refugees than you wouldn’t have a Brexit,” Trump said. He said his administration would sign a trade deal with the country after he formally takes charge on January 20.

He also claimed the European Union had been deeply damaged after the migration crisis, reported The Times.

Speaking to German tabloid Bild, Trump called German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s immigration policies a catastrophic mistake. “I think she [Angela Merkel] made one very catastrophic mistake and that was taking all of these illegals, you know taking all of the people from wherever they come from. And nobody even knows where they come from,” Trump said.

He said he respected her and called her a “fantastic chief”, but he did not commit to supporting her in the upcoming elections in the country though, reported The Guardian.