White House Rejects Trump’s Comments on NATO
Rejecting Trump’s Remarks
The White House on Saturday rejected comments made by former U.S. President Donald Trump about not protecting NATO allies from a potential Russian invasion as “appalling and unhinged.”
Trump’s Controversial Statements
During a political rally in South Carolina, Trump quoted the president of “a big country” as asking whether the U.S. would protect them from a Russian attack if they didn’t pay their dues to NATO. Trump’s response, as recounted by him, was that he would not protect them and would encourage Russia to do as they please.
Response from the White House
White House spokesperson Andrew Bates called Trump’s comments “appalling and unhinged,” stating that encouraging invasions of allies by murderous regimes endangers American national security, global stability, and the economy at home.
President Biden’s Actions
Bates highlighted President Joe Biden’s efforts to restore U.S. alliances after taking office in 2021, ensuring that NATO is now the largest and most vital it has ever been, standing up for national security interests.
Concerns over Trump’s Potential Victory
With Trump leading Biden in some polls, European allies worry a Trump victory in November could jeopardize the U.S. commitment to the alliance, despite NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg’s assurance that a second Trump presidency would not jeopardize U.S. membership.
Trump’s Criticism of NATO
As a fierce critic of NATO during his presidency, Trump repeatedly threatened to pull out of the alliance and cut defense funding to NATO, frequently complaining that the United States was paying more than its fair share.
Trump’s Stance on Russia and Ukraine
Trump has also continued to criticize NATO’s support in the event of a U.S. attack and has called for de-escalation in Russia’s war in Ukraine, expressing discontent over the billions spent thus far.
Support for Ukraine
Since Moscow’s invasion in February 2022, U.S. aid to Ukraine has totaled around $75 billion, with other NATO members and partner states contributing more than $100 billion, according to Stoltenberg.