Trump Suggests Russia Has Free Rein over NATO Countries with Insufficient Payments

Trump says Russia could do ‘whatever the hell they want’ to NATO countries that don’t pay enough

Former President Donald Trump stated on Saturday that he would support Russia’s actions if it were to attack a NATO member country that failed to meet its defense spending obligations.

His remarks sparked criticism from within his own party, as well as from the White House and key Western figures. The head of NATO warned that such statements could endanger the lives of American and European soldiers.

Trump made these comments during a rally in South Carolina, where he recounted an interaction from his time in office with the leader of a major country. He claimed that he had informed this leader that the United States would not defend their country if they were delinquent in their defense payments.

The White House swiftly condemned Trump’s remarks, calling them “appalling and unhinged” and highlighting the risks they pose to national security and global stability.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg reaffirmed the alliance’s commitment to defending all members and cautioned against any suggestion that allies would not support each other, as it undermines collective security.

Donald Trump
Donald Trump (Credits: The New York Times)

Trump’s stance on NATO has long been contentious, with him frequently criticizing the alliance and questioning its relevance. His administration reportedly considered withdrawing from NATO altogether.

In contrast, President Joe Biden has worked to reassure NATO allies of the United States’ commitment to the alliance. Biden recently signed a defense bill aimed at preventing a unilateral withdrawal from NATO, a move that could counter Trump’s intentions to reassess NATO’s purpose if he were to run for president again in 2024.

Despite concerns raised by Trump’s remarks, NATO members have been increasing their defense spending, with some new countries seeking membership amid growing tensions with Russia.

Apart from his NATO comments, Trump also boasted about the failure of a bipartisan border deal and its implications for his political agenda. This ongoing clash in Washington has led to delays in providing military aid to Ukraine, which is facing Russian aggression.

Trump’s perceived indifference to Russian aggression has raised anxieties in Ukraine and among European allies about the potential consequences of another Trump presidency. Some analysts suggest that Trump’s actions may indicate a shift towards aligning with Russia at the expense of traditional European alliances.

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