Trump Threatens Not to Protect NATO Countries in Arrears

In a campaign event, US presidential candidate Donald Trump made a bold statement, threatening not to protect NATO partners who are in arrears with their financial obligations from potential aggression by Russia.

Trump threatens not to protect NATO countries in arrears

US presidential candidate Trump has threatened at a campaign event not to protect NATO partners in arrears from Russia. He would even encourage Moscow to be aggressive. The White House responded strongly.

Republican US presidential candidate Donald Trump would not provide protection from Russia to NATO partners who do not fulfill their financial obligations. The former US president said this on Saturday at a campaign event in the state of South Carolina.

The “president of a major country” once asked him if the US would still protect that country from Russia if it did not pay defense spending, Trump said. He replied, “No, I would not protect you.” Moreover, he would even “encourage Russia to do whatever the hell they want.” It was unclear whether there had ever been such a conversation between Trump and a head of state, as Trump also said, “Let’s assume that happened.” White House: “Appalling and disturbing”

The White House responded immediately. “Encouraging attacks by a murderous regime on our closest allies is appalling and disturbing,” said spokesman Andrew Bates in a statement. “It jeopardizes America’s national security, global stability, and our domestic economy.” Instead of calling for wars and promoting “mentally disturbed chaos,” US President Joe Biden will “continue to strengthen American leadership.”

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg recently countered fears during a visit to Washington that the outcome of the US presidential election could jeopardize the future of NATO. He had worked with Trump for four years and listened carefully to him, Stoltenberg told US broadcaster CNN at the end of January. Trump’s main criticism that alliance partners were not spending enough on NATO had been heard. They had significantly increased their defense spending in recent years.

Trump repeatedly threatened to withdraw from NATO

Trump, who ruled the White House from 2017 to 2021, repeatedly threatened to withdraw the US from the defense alliance. As reported by the “Washington Post,” he already mentioned at an event in 2022 a meeting where he had told NATO partners that he would not adhere to the alliance commitment to defense if countries did not spend more on their defense budgets. According to this, it may be an allusion to a statement by Trump at the NATO summit in 2018.

The Republican wants to be reelected as president in November and is fighting for his party’s nomination in the primaries. He is campaigning, among other things, for a fundamental reassessment of NATO.

At the campaign event in South Carolina, Trump also announced once again that he would deport people on a large scale. Irregular immigration is one of the dominant issues in the US election campaign. A frequently used argument on the Republican side is that taxpayer money should not be spent on protecting other countries, such as Ukraine, but on protecting their own borders.