The front-runner for the Republican nomination shows no signs of softening his hostile stance toward a military alliance.
The White House has condemned comments by Donald Trump suggesting the United States should not help NATO protect its allies against a possible Russian attack, calling them “deranged.”
The former US president, who appeared to discuss a previous meeting with NATO leaders at his latest political rally in South Carolina on Saturday, claimed to have spoken with the president of a “great country” about of allies rushing to defend themselves.
“Well, sir, if we don’t pay and we’re attacked by Russia, will you protect us?” he said the chief had said.
“I said, ‘You didn’t pay? Are you a delinquent? He said, “Yes, let’s say that happened.” » No, I won’t protect you. In fact, I would encourage them to do whatever they want. You have to pay.
“Encouraging invasions of our closest allies by murderous regimes is appalling and unbalanced – and it endangers American national security, global stability and our domestic economy,” said White House spokesman Andrew Bates .
President Joe Biden, who is seeking re-election in November, has strengthened the alliance since taking office in 2021, ensuring that NATO is now “the largest and most vital it has ever been”, added Bates.
“Rather than calling for war and promoting deranged chaos, President Biden will continue to strengthen American leadership and defend our national security interests – not against them,” he said in a statement.
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), a military alliance of 29 European and two North American countries, has a provision in its statute that states it must defend any member that is attacked.
This is not the first time that the Republican candidate for the Republican nomination in the next presidential elections has criticized the alliance.
When he was president, Trump threatened to withdraw the United States from NATO. He also suggested he might cut Washington’s funding of the organization and repeatedly complained that the United States was paying more than it should.
With the war in Ukraine showing no signs of stopping, concerns have grown over the consequences of a possible Trump victory in November.
kyiv is desperate for funds to support its war effort. The European Union agreed earlier this month to devote an additional aid package of 50 billion euros ($54 billion) to Ukraine. However, Biden’s attempt to win approval for a U.S. aid package has become bogged down in domestic political wrangling.
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said last month that he did not believe a second Trump presidency would jeopardize U.S. membership in the military bloc.
The official, who has pushed member states to increase military spending, said European allies were increasing their military contributions and “moving in the right direction.”
Since the start of the war in Ukraine in February 2022, U.S. aid to Ukraine has amounted to about $75 billion, according to Stoltenberg, who said other NATO members and partner states combined have provided more than $100 billion.