Former President Donald Trump said Saturday that he would encourage Russia to “do what they want” if it attacked a NATO country that was not paying enough for its defense, citing a conversation during his presidency.
Speaking to supporters in the state of South Carolina, Trump talked about his conversation with the president of a “great country” who asked whether they would be defended if Russia attacked. Trump said he told the leader that the US government will not defend the bloc unless they pay their fair share of defense spending.
“No, I wouldn’t defend you. In fact, I’d encourage them to do whatever the hell they want. You have to pay. You have to pay your bills,” Trump said.
Trump said these words during a rally held on the campus of Coastal Carolina University. It comes as Russia continues war in ukraineand after some North Atlantic Treaty Organization members expressed his concerns that Russia may try to expand to other nations.
The The alliance was founded in 1949 To provide collective defense against the Soviet unity. A hallmark of the agreement is that an attack on one ally is an attack on all.
According to reports, Trump has been worried about NATO for a long time and has argued with the heads of member states Threatens to pull out the US in connection with the requirement that the member countries of the bloc reach the goal of spending 2% of their gross domestic product on defense.
The latest report has been released year showed that only 11 of the then 30 member states spent 2% or more of their GDP on defence. It was Finland granted membership status to NATO last yearAddressing concerns over Russia’s border with Ukraine.
Since President Joe Biden took office He tried to calm NATO down US commitment to the group stands in stark contrast to its Republican predecessor.
last month, Biden signed an 886 billion dollar defense A bill barring the president from unilaterally withdrawing from NATO could block Trump’s 2024 plan. campaign promise To “fundamentally” reassess “NATO’s purpose and NATO’s mission.”
Asked about Trump’s latest comments on NATO, White House spokesman Andrew Bates said: “Encouraging murderous regimes to attack our closest allies is appalling and unstoppable, and threatens America’s national security, global stability and our economy at home.” . This was reported by Reuters.
Besides the NATO comment, Trump also bragged about it on Saturday not accepting the recent bilateral border agreement.
“We gutted crooked Joe Biden’s disastrous border deal. Mike Johnson did a great job,” Trump said, referring to the Republican House leader and his opposition to the bill.
The failure to pass the border bill followed reports that Trump wanted his party to reject the legislation, hoping he could capitalize on the crisis at the southern border. as a political tool to win re-election in November.