Trump encourages Russia to attack NATO countries

Trump encourages Russia to attack NATO countries

Donald Trump has said that he encourages Russia to attack any NATO country that he believes has failed to fulfill its financial obligations to the NATO alliance.

Joe Biden's White House immediately condemned Trump's comments, saying in a statement: “Encouraging murderous regimes to attack our closest allies is horrific and inappropriate, and it threatens the national security of the United States, global stability, and our economy at home.”.

Trump's comments must be music to the ears of Russian dictator Putin

Trump's remarks encouraging Russia to attack any NATO country also sparked outrage in other political circles on Saturday. Conservative political commentator Alyssa Farah Griffin said Trump's comments should have been “music” to the ears of Russian leader Vladimir Putin.

On the other hand, Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio on Sunday sought to downplay Trump's remarks, which came two days after former Fox News host and Trump supporter Tucker Carlson conducted a lengthy, largely free interview with Vladimir Putin.

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“Trump talked about an event that happened in the past when he was president”, – Rubio said in an interview with CNN. “He didn't take us out of NATO, and American troops are stationed all over Europe, then as today.”.

“Donald Trump tells the story”, – Rubio continued. “He is not a member of the External Relations Council. He doesn't talk like a traditional politician, and you'd think people would have figured that out by now. He said NATO was broke or broke until he took over because people weren't paying their dues and he used leverage to get them to step up”.

Trump expressed doubts about the existence of NATO

Trump has expressed doubts about the existence of NATO and about helping Ukraine defend itself from invasion starting in 2022, an international alliance that the United States has pledged to defend if necessary.

His remarks on Saturday coincided with US senators debating a bill to provide $60 billion to Ukraine, $14 billion in military aid to Israel, $9 billion in humanitarian aid to citizens in Gaza, the West Bank, and $4.8 billion to support allies in the Indo-Pacific region .

But the bill has faced opposition from some Republicans who want to see the foreign aid package tied to security measures along the U.S.-Mexico border, which is emerging as a defining issue in the 2024 U.S. presidential election.

Some of these same lawmakers hope to propose amendments to stem the flow of migrants into the United States, while others want to eliminate humanitarian aid provisions and limit foreign aid to arms and materiel.

If the bill passes the Senate on Sunday, it will move to the House, where Republicans have a slim majority. The House has already rejected the Israeli aid bill. House Chairman Mike Johnson stressed that he could split the aid into separate bills.

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“I have said very clearly that you must consider these issues on their own merits”, – Johnson said last week.

Even before Trump's comments about NATO, European capitals were reassessing their expectations of U.S. support and cooperation in the event of a second Trump presidency.

During a 70-minute speech in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, Trump recalled telling an unidentified head of state at an unspecified NATO meeting when he was president that the United States would not defend countries that “non-executive”.

Mr. Trump, if we didn’t pay and Russia attacks us, will you protect us?

While some immediately questioned whether the said conversation took place, Trump continued: “One of the presidents of a large country stood up and said: “Mr. Trump, if we didn’t pay and Russia attacks us, will you protect us?”

“I said: “You haven't paid, are you in debt?” No, I won't protect you. In fact, I would encourage them to do whatever they want. You have to pay. You have to pay your bills”.

Increase defense spending to 2% of each NATO country's GDP by 2024

NATO countries agreed in 2014, following Russia's annexation of Ukraine's Crimea, to end the spending cuts they had made since the Cold War and increase defense spending to the tune of 2% of each NATO country's GDP by 2024.

The US under Trump's leadership may abandon its NATO commitments

During his 2016 campaign, Trump alerted Western allies by warning that the United States under his leadership could abandon its NATO commitments and only defend countries that met the alliance's 2% goal.

Russia's invasion of Ukraine has spurred additional military spending by many NATO countries

As of 2022, NATO reported that just seven of NATO's 31 member countries met the commitment to spend more than 3% of GDP on defense in 2014. Russia's 2022 invasion of Ukraine has spurred additional military spending by many NATO member countries.

Trump's remarks come as Ukraine remains war-bound and has been fending off a Russian invasion since 2022. And Republicans in Congress are becoming increasingly skeptical about providing additional aid to Ukraine.

Trump also noted the recent failure of Congress to implement immigration legislation.

On Saturday, Trump also noted the recent failure by Congress of immigration legislation aimed at addressing... migration crisis on the Texas-Mexico border. The bill was supported by current President Joe Biden, and Trump promised that if elected again, he would pass “large-scale deportation operation” on his first day in the oval office.

Trump is showing strongly in opinion polls against Biden, who defeated the former president in the 2020 election. However, he faces more than 90 criminal charges.

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The allegations, contained in four separate indictments in different jurisdictions, allege that Trump tried to undermine the results of the election, which he lost in 2020. Trump also illegally withheld government secrets after his presidency ended and made illegal payments to an actress who claims she had a sexual encounter with Trump.