Donald Trump stated that he would “urge” Russia to target any NATO member neglecting its financial obligations within the Western military alliance. He recounted a previous conversation with a NATO leader, emphasizing his stance on withholding protection from nations in arrears if faced with Russian aggression and advising the aggressors to act as they wish.
NATO members pledge to defend any nation within the alliance that faces an attack. The White House condemned the remarks as “appalling and unhinged.”
During a rally in South Carolina on Saturday, Donald Trump recounted making these remarks about Russia at a NATO leaders’ meeting. He described a scenario where a leader from a “big country” raised a hypothetical situation of not meeting financial obligations within NATO and being attacked by Moscow.
Trump recalled responding by rebuking the leader, stating that if they hadn’t fulfilled their financial commitments, he would not protect them and would instead encourage the aggressors to act freely, emphasizing the importance of meeting financial obligations.
A White House spokesperson criticized the former president’s comments, accusing him of “encouraging invasions of our closest allies by murderous regimes” and deeming his remarks “appalling and unhinged.”
He further remarked that the statement poses a risk to American national security, global stability, and the domestic economy.
Donald Trump, the leading contender for the Republican nomination in the upcoming US presidential election, has consistently criticized NATO, viewing it as imposing an excessive financial burden on the United States to ensure the defense of 30 other nations.
Following Mr. Trump’s departure from office, Russia launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine in 2022. Trump has since expressed dissatisfaction with the amount of US aid allocated to Ukraine, despite it not being a NATO member.
According to White House figures from December, the US has provided Ukraine with more than $44 billion in financial assistance since the 2022 invasion, making it the largest contributor. However, Republicans in Congress have recently blocked new funding, insisting on stringent measures to curb migration into the US via its southern border. They rejected the amended bill earlier this week.
Trump celebrated the rejection during Saturday’s rally, criticizing President Biden’s proposals as “disastrous.”
Now,it appears the two issues have been successfully decoupled, allowing senators to separately deliberate on the aid money.