Trump’s Surprising NATO Remark: Advocating Unusual Tactics in Relations With Russia

Former US President and 2024 presidential hopeful Donald Trump speaks at a "Get Out the Vote" Rally in Conway, South Carolina, on February 10, 2024.

During a recent statement, Donald Trump, the leading candidate, expressed his strong stance on NATO, suggesting that he would support Russia in taking action against any country that did not fulfill their financial commitments to the alliance.

The remarks were made during a campaign rally in South Carolina, the home state of Trump’s main Republican competitor, former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley. South Carolina is set to hold its Republican primary on February 24.

Throughout this election season, the Trump campaign has consistently criticized Haley, who was appointed by Trump as his UN Secretary, for her support of an interventionist foreign policy, labeling her as a “warmonger.”

During his speech, Trump shared a story about a conversation he had with a president from a significant NATO country. According to Trump, this president asked him about the scenario of not paying and being attacked by Russia, and whether the United States would provide protection.

Trump remarked, “I mentioned, ‘You didn’t pay?” Are you behind on your payments? He replied, ‘Yes, let’s assume that occurred.’ Sorry, but I can’t offer any protection. In fact, I would support their freedom to do whatever they please. Payment is required. It is important to fulfill your financial obligations.

Saturday evening, the White House responded to the comments with strong disapproval, describing them as “appalling and unhinged.”

According to a statement from spokesman Andrew Bates, President Biden will prioritize American leadership and protect our national security interests instead of advocating for wars and promoting chaos.

Florida Senator Marco Rubio, who supported Trump in January and is a member of the Senate Foreign Relations and Intelligence committees, defended the former president on CNN’s State of the Nation. Rubio expressed no worries about the possible consequences of the comments.

“He’s not the first American president – in fact, almost every American president has, at some point, expressed dissatisfaction with other NATO countries not pulling their weight,” Rubio stated.

NATO Criticism Over Trump’s Ukraine Policy Since 2022

The NATO and Ukrainian flag are pictured in Vilnius, Lithuania on July 9, 2023, a few days ahead of a July 11-12 NATO Summit.


For years, there has been criticism of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and calls for member countries to increase their security spending, signaling a shift in US alliances. Since 2022, Trump has consistently voiced his opposition to US support for Ukraine.

Earlier on Saturday, the former president expressed his opinion on Truth Social, emphasizing that foreign aid should only be provided as a loan rather than a giveaway. “Are you paying attention, US Senate?” he remarked, alluding to the ongoing Senate proceedings regarding a funding package for Ukraine worth $60 billion.

Trump’s remarks swiftly faced criticism from various Western officials. It is crucial to recognize that any insinuation of allies not standing up for one another has severe implications for our collective security. This includes both the United States and Europe, and it also puts the lives of American and European soldiers in greater jeopardy.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg emphasized this point in a written statement, asserting that any assault on NATO will be met with a resolute and unified retaliation. Both the Polish defense minister and German foreign ministry shared the NATO motto of ‘one for all, all for one” in response to Trump’s comments.

Several prominent Democrats also joined the discussion. According to California Democratic Representative Adam Schiff, Trump made a statement about potentially allowing Russia to take action against NATO allies if they didn’t meet defense spending requirements.

His priorities seem to lie more in boosting his own image and appeasing certain leaders rather than safeguarding our allies. It would be sufficient to make Reagan sick.

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