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Trump’s comments about Russia and NATO spark controversy

Feb 12

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Donald Trump made remarks on Saturday, Feb. 10, about NATO that criticized some members at a campaign rally in South Carolina. The former president has often described NATO as a flawed international partnership, accusing some countries of not pulling their financial weight in the alliance, and the U.S. having to overcompensate.

During his political rally, Trump said he told a NATO ally that if they didn’t pay, they’d be cut out. Therefore, that country would no longer be protected under a NATO policy that promises if a NATO country is attacked, then NATO as a whole will respond.

“One of the presidents of a big country, he stood up, said, ‘Well sir, if we don’t pay and we’re attacked by Russia, will you protect us?'” Trump told the crowd in South Carolina. “I said, ‘You didn’t pay? You’re delinquent?’ He said, ‘Yes.’ Let’s say that happened, no, I would not protect you. In fact, I would encourage them to do whatever the hell they want. You got to pay, you got to pay your bills.”

Left-leaning news outlets like CNN described Trump’s words as “incendiary remarks” that sent “very real shudders through Europe.”

“Favoring foes over friends, Trump threatens to upend international order” the New York Times wrote.

Politico’s headline read “‘Enough to make Reagan ill’: Trump’s NATO remarks under fire.”

Politico’s headline quotes former U.S. Congressman Adam Schiff, D. Schiff and many Democrats were critical of Trump’s comments. The White House even called it “appalling and unhinged.”

However, on the other side of the aisle, Republicans came to the former president’s defense.

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., was asked about Trump’s comments on CNN on Feb. 11. Rubio said that Trump doesn’t “talk like a traditional politician” and that Trump “used leverage to get people to stand up to the plate.”

The former president’s comments were not well-received by NATO. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said Trump undermined national and international security, putting American and European soldiers at risk.

During his campaign rally, Trump brought up NATO’s financial commitments in a comparison to countries giving aid to Ukraine. Trump argued that the U.S. should only provide foreign aid in the form of a loan while Congress currently weighs a foreign aid package.

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[KARAH RUCKER]

WHILE MUCH OF THE CONVERSATION TODAY WILL BE ABOUT THE CHIEFS WINNING THE SUPER BOWL –

IN POLITICS – THE BUZZ – IS ABOUT TRUMP.

REMARKS HE MADE ABOUT NATO AT A RALLY IN SOUTH CAROLINA ARE MAKING HEADLINES.

TRUMP ON NATO VO

TRUMP BEING CRITICAL OF NATO IS NOTHING NEW.

HE’S OFTEN DESCRIBED IT AS A FLAWED INTERNATIONAL PARTNERSHIP –

ACCUSING SOME COUNTRIES OF NOT PULLING THEIR FINANCIAL WEIGHT IN THE ALLIANCE –

AND THE U.S. HAVING TO OVERCOMPENSATE.

IN SOUTH CAROLINA ON SATURDAY – TRUMP RECALLED PRESSING NATO COUNTRIES DURING HIS PRESIDENCY.

TRUMP SAYS HE TOLD A NATO ALLY THAT IF THEY DIDN’T PAY – THEY’D BE CUT OUT.

THEREFORE – NO LONGER PROTECTED UNDER NATO POLICY THAT PROMISES IF A NATO COUNTRY IS ATTACKED – THEN NATO AS A WHOLE WILL RESPOND.

[DONALD TRUMP]

ONE OF THE PRESIDENT’S OF A BIG COUNTRY, HE STOOD UP, SAID, ‘WELL SIR, IF WE DON’T PAY AND WE’RE ATTACKED BY RUSSIA, WILL YOU PROTECT US? I SAID, “YOU DIDN’T PAY? YOU’RE DELINQUENT? HE SAID, “YES.” LET’S SAY THAT HAPPENED, NO, I WOULD NOT PROTECT YOU. IN FACT, I WOULD ENCOURAGE THEM TO DO WHATEVER THE HELL THEY WANT. YOU GOT TO PAY. YOU GOT TO PAY YOUR BILLS.

[KARAH RUCKER]

LEFT-LEANING NEWS OUTLETS LIKE CNN DESCRIBED TRUMP’S WORDS AS “INCENDIARY REMARKS” THAT SENT “VERY REAL SHUDDERS THROUGH EUROPE”.

THE NEW YORK TIMES – “FAVORING FOES OVER FRIENDS, TRUMP THREATENS TO UPEND INTERNATIONAL ORDER.”

POLITICO’S HEADLINE READ “ENOUGH TO MAKE REAGAN ILL”.

POLITICO’S HEADLINE WAS A QUOTE FROM DEMOCRAT ADAM SCHIFF.

SCHIFF AND MANY DEMOCRATS WERE CRITICAL OF TRUMP’S COMMENTS.

THE WHITE HOUSE EVEN CALLING IT “APPALLING AND UNHINGED.”

BUT ON THE OTHER SIDE – REPUBLICANS CAME TO THE PRESIDENT’S DEFENSE.

SENATOR MARCO RUBIO WAS ASKED ABOUT TRUMP’S COMMENTS ON CNN SUNDAY.

[MARCO RUBIO]

HE DOESN’T TALK LIKE A TRADITIONAL POLITICIAN. HE USED LEVERAGE TO GET PEOPLE TO STAND UP TO THE PLATE.”

TRUMP’S REMARKS WERE NOT WELL RECEIVED BY NATO.

A NATO CHIEF SAYS TRUMP UNDERMINED NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL SECURITY.

AND PUT AMERICAN AND EUROPEAN SOLDIERS AT RISK.

TRUMP BROUGHT UP NATO’S FINANCIAL COMMITMENTS IN A COMPARISON TO COUNTRIES GIVING AID TO UKRAINE.

TRUMP ARGUED THE U.S. IS IN A SIMILAR POSITION BY GIVING MORE TO UKRAINE THAN WHAT OTHER COUNTRIES HAVE GIVEN.

AND ARGUED THE U.S. SHOULD ONLY PROVIDE FOREIGN AID IN THE FORM OF A LOAN WHILE CONGRESS CURRENTLY WEIGHS A FOREIGN AID PACKAGE.