Trump’s NATO Remarks “Crazy and Appalling”
Former US President Trump’s statements about NATO have provoked criticism, even from within the Republican Party. Critic Christie describes him as a national security risk, while the White House also reacts with shock. Trump, known for his provocative statements, threatened not to protect NATO members against Russia if they did not fulfill their alliance obligations.
“I said, they haven’t paid? They’re delinquent? No, then I wouldn’t protect them. I would even encourage Russia to do whatever it wants,” Trump said over the weekend at a campaign event in South Carolina.
White House reacts with shock
The 77-year-old is famously not a big fan of NATO. He has repeatedly made it clear that he does not understand why the USA has to contribute to the defense of the 30 NATO countries. The White House reacted with shock to Trump’s remarks. Encouraging a murderous regime like Russia to attack its closest allies is “crazy and appalling,” said government spokesman Bates.
Criticism from within the Republican Party
There was also criticism from within the Republican Party. Chris Christie, former Republican governor of New Jersey and now a vocal Trump critic, called the former US president a national security risk on NBC. “He is not fit to be President of the United States. Of course, it is right to tell a NATO member that it must pay its contributions. But the problem with Donald Trump is that he doesn’t stop there. He has to say that he would encourage Russia to do whatever the hell they want.”
Republican presidential candidate and former UN ambassador Nikki Haley also strongly attacked her rival. “I had to deal with Russia every day. The last thing we want to do is side with Russia. We always have to remember – America needs friends,” Haley said on CBS.
Senate seeks to enable Ukrainian aid
Marco Rubio, Republican senator from Florida, defended Trump. Rubio said on the CNN talk show “State of the Union” that Trump does not speak like a traditional politician. “He said NATO was bankrupt until he took office because people weren’t paying their contributions. Then he used leverage to get people to engage in NATO.”
Meanwhile, the Senate has been trying to reach an agreement on Ukrainian aid. In another vote, a majority of 67 senators decided to advance foreign aid on Sunday. The final vote is expected to take place in the middle of the week. However, it is already clear that the aid package will be blocked by the Republican-controlled House of Representatives.