US Secretary of State John Kerry has criticized President-elect Donald Trump for a newspaper interview in which he branded NATO "obsolete" and said Germany had pursued a "catastrophic" policy on refugees.

Kerry told CNN's Christiane Amanpour it was "inappropriate" for Trump to "be stepping in to the politics of other countries in a quite direct manner."

Trump's interview in the Times of London and the German publication Bild had rattled allies. The German foreign minister said it had caused "astonishment and agitation" within NATO.

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