Former U.S. President Donald Trump attends a campaign event in Conway
Former U.S. President Donald Trump holds a campaign rally at Coastal Carolina University ahead of the South Carolina Republican presidential primary in Conway, South Carolina, on Saturday. Photo: Reuters/SAM WOLFE
world

Republicans blast Trump over threat to abandon NATO allies

58 Comments
By Richard Cowan

Some of former President Donald Trump's fellow Republicans on Sunday lashed out at him for saying he would not want to protect NATO members from a future attack by Russia if those countries' contributions to the defense alliance were lagging.

"This is why I've been saying for a long time that he's unfit to be president of the United States," former Republican presidential candidate Chris Christie said in an interview with NBC's "Meet the Press" program.

During a political rally on Saturday in South Carolina, Trump complained about what he called "delinquent" payments by some NATO countries and recounted what he said was a past conversation with the head of "a big country" about an attack by Russia on such countries.

"No, I would not protect you. In fact I would encourage them (Russia) to do whatever the hell they want. You gotta pay," Trump said he told the unnamed leader.

The remarks prompted rebukes from the White House, which called them "appalling and unhinged," as well as from other top Western officials.

The failure of many of NATO's 31 members to meet a defense spending target of at least 2% of gross domestic product has long been a source of tension with the United States, whose armed forces form the core the alliance's military power. NATO estimates have shown that only 11 members are spending at the target level.

Former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, who is Trump's lone remaining challenger for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, said: "The last thing we ever want to do is side with Russia."

Interviewed on CBS's "Face the Nation," she added: "Don’t take the side of someone who has gone and invaded a country and half a million people have died or been wounded because of (Russian President Vladimir) Putin" in his war against Ukraine.

Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, a close ally of Trump's, told Reuters in a brief hallway interview that he disagreed "with the way he (Trump) said it," referring to the NATO remarks. Graham added: "Russia didn't invade anybody when he was president and if he's president again they won't."

Politico reported that Republican Senator Thom Tillis blamed Trump aides for failing to explain to the former president that the United States, as a NATO member, is committed to defending any member of the alliance that is attacked.

It also quoted Republican Senator Rand Paul saying Trump's remarks were a "stupid thing to say."

On a day in which the Senate was holding a rare weekend of debates over President Joe Biden's request for emergency aid to help Ukraine repel a nearly two-year-old Russian attack and Israel in its war with Hamas in Gaza, some Republicans defended Trump.

"Virtually every American president at some point, in some way, has complained about other countries in NATO not doing enough. Trump's just the first one to express it in these terms. But I have zero concern, because he's been president before," Senator Marco Rubio said in an interview with CNN.

Jason Miller, senior Trump campaign advisor, in a statement sidestepped the remark encouraging Russia to take on some NATO allies, saying: "Democrat and media pearl-clutchers seem to have forgotten that we had four years of peace and prosperity under President Trump," while leveling attacks against Biden.

On Capitol Hill, Democratic Senator Peter Welch told Reuters: Trump "normalizes belligerent behavior. But in fact he means it."

© Thomson Reuters 2024.

©2024 GPlusMedia Inc.

58 Comments

Comments have been disabled You can no longer respond to this thread.

Most voters besides health issues, look at things like foreign policy, especially regarding NATO and US proxy war involvement and DO NOT LIKE IT or SUPPORT IT.

Regarding Ukraine, NATO and all key issues, the health and mental fitness of candidates is of paramount importance. They are ONE and the SAME.

Health, both mental and physical, key reason Trump's winning in polls vs. Biden. Without health, issues like NATO, Ukraine, etc., irrelevant. Voters vote on health in order to better achieve their important issues.

Most believe avoiding US NATO Russia WW III important!

-9 ( +1 / -10 )

Trump is mentally and physically sick. He should stick to the golf course.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

Trump is capable of starting WW3.

8 ( +11 / -3 )

Jimizo, Donald Trump tenure in office, your analysis is a fair opinion.

I would be quick stepping into a world of whataboutery debating otherwise.

The question remains, it is difficult to ignore, Donald Trump talks, shouts, a language that provokes, that challenges mainstream political mediocracy, it is rash in nature, uncompromising, pulpit populism.

I believe that is why he bucks mainstream political thinking.

The fact still remain Putin ideology, on a another level, spectrum, on full show recently when Tucker Carlson attempted to shake him into complacency.

No western politician can simply pretend that a deal with Putin is remotely achievable.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Trump had no problem with the dreaded ‘virtue-signaling’ when hugging flags.

I think someone needs a lesson

I’m always willing to take lessons from the knowledgeable, honest and sincere on any topic.

These qualities are non-negotiable for me.

I’ll give it a miss if you don’t mind.

Thanks all the same.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Trump had no problem with the dreaded ‘virtue-signaling’ when hugging flags.

I think someone needs a lesson in what "virtue signaling" means and how the Stars and Stripes is like kryptonite to the left he was supposedly signaling.

Didn’t deliver on the wall.

True. He was a naughty boy. Yet illegal crossings at the southern border were down 78% during his tenure.

https://www.pbs.org/newshour/politics/border-arrests-fall-to-45-year-low-but-deportations-soar-in-trumps-first-year

Didn’t deliver on getting rid of the debt ( was blowing money before Covid ).

and care to comment on the debt figures from Jan 20, 2021? (you don't. You won't)

Didn’t drain the swamp.

Also true. But look out if he wins in November. There will be a bloodbath in the entire civil service. He won't make that mistake twice.

2 more key promises you don't mention that he hit out of the park;

The greatest economy in modern history and......NO NEW WARS.

-9 ( +3 / -12 )

Highly regarded NBC poll, just released has Trump winning on all foreign issues including NATO, Israel, Ukraine, Russia, military, border security, by double digits over Biden etc. Biden only won 2 issues, outside margin error ONLY abortion +12, as democracy was just +1.

CBS poll taken 9 months prior to election, has Biden at 37% approval, same poll 4 years ago had Trump at 46%, Obama in 2012 at 49% and Bush Jr. in 2004 at 54%.

Americans overwhelmingly support Trump's views on Ukraine & NATO per CBS polling just released.

-10 ( +2 / -12 )

Stunning how many JT commenters believe US policy in Ukraine and towards Russia's somehow making world better? Trump's aghast at US led NATO Ukraine Proxy failure spreading globally, destabilizing EVERYTHING.

What is even more stunning are the many JT commenters that believe Russia invading and trying to take over Ukraine is somehow making Europe and the world better. This is Russia's war and NATO is not involved. Many of the worlds nations including NATO nations, are helping Ukraine survive, because it is the right thing to do.

Invading a nation to annex its territory and steal its resources, at the cost of hundreds of thousands dead and many more injured for life, is not the right thing to do, not the friendly thing to do, yet misguided people wish to make out that supporters of freedom and sovereignty for Ukraine are wrong. They need to take a good hard look at themselves and their warmonger support for a criminal like Putin, because they are the ones that are wrong.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Sure, please proceed and share the poll indicating that Americans have grown weary of NATO. I can certainly provide counter-evidence from recent polls suggesting otherwise, but I'm interested in seeing the data you're referring to first.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Stunning how many JT commenters believe US policy in Ukraine and towards Russia's somehow making world better? Trump's aghast at US led NATO Ukraine Proxy failure spreading globally, destabilizing EVERYTHING.

-11 ( +3 / -14 )

I can post several recent polls that prove the opposite 

of course you can. Those polls only poll.....Democrats!

So, as expected you have nothing to back up your claim and have already decided you won’t accept anything that proves you wrong.

Gotcha.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

With normal intelligent people, Trumps comments that have drawn the ire of many in the GOP, the penny would drop, and they would realize that Trump truly is dangerous to US allies, and US democracy, and that he is such a supporter of Putin he would allow Russia to invade NATO allies and fail to honor article 5, potentially endangering US alliances the world over. Trump is simply not the right person to run for the Republican party, even without the fact he is barred under the US constitution from again holding office.

Trump is a fool and a lover of enemies of the USA. Republicans need to wake up before it is too late. Haley would defeat Biden because he is too old to operate at his peak any longer. But against Trump, who cant hold office, even Biden is a better choice for president.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

However the same cannot be said for politicians that have chameleon political qualities, ideologue, a social justice shape shifter

How the game is played to a point. Best to judge on what they deliver. Social Justice? Trump had no problem with the dreaded ‘virtue-signaling’ when hugging flags. Nobody signals virtue more than these types. Perhaps only the religious can outdo them.

Trump was hardly predictable:

Didn’t deliver on the wall.

Didn’t deliver on getting rid of the debt ( was blowing money before Covid ).

Didn’t drain the swamp.

These were key promises.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

I would have thought that years ago no one even gave it a second thought, but now Trump, presumably with the support of the Fox News and Russian intelligence services....

and that's when I stopped reading LOL!

-10 ( +1 / -11 )

So true. everyone I talk to has had enough of it.

I would have thought that years ago no one even gave it a second thought, but now Trump, presumably with the support of the Fox News and Russian intelligence services, has made it some kind of big deal and those on the MAGA right think it is some kind of major issue, without realising that NATO is effectively an extension of US military power and influence.

There were no complaints when NATO and allies were supporting American wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

All can see Donald Trump coming from far and wide.

The same can be said for modern day progressives. Bernie sanders, Democrat Sen. Elizabeth Warren etc.

However the same cannot be said for politicians that have chameleon political qualities, ideologue, a social justice shape shifter..

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

I dislike to agree with Trump however if NATO members want to run with the big dogs then they gotta pay their dues

The US is a highly militarised nation and chooses to spend nearly 4% of GDP on the military. The agreed NATO level is 2% of GDP - still a fairly high target. Britain and Germany manage it, France doesn't, at only 1.5%. But most countries spend between 1.5% and 2%.

But it isn't as though the US would actually spend less on defence if others increased their expenditure. It would still spend nearly 4%.

And European armies are growing in response to Russian aggression. But Trump only ever takes a superficial view of things and treats everything like a business deal in which there are winners and losers.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

I can post several recent polls that prove the opposite 

of course you can. Those polls only poll.....Democrats!

stan, big mike has barely broken sweat.

I can't help feeling a "house of cards" despotic utopia moment, a new political ideology, dressed up as socialism.

itsonly - look behind you. We crossed that river a long time ago..

-11 ( +1 / -12 )

Don't Americans care about appearing stupid?

So many Americans are brainwashed into believing America is the greatest most powerful nation on earth and America is saving the world...so no Americans don't even consider that they are stupid or unlikable.

Not necessarily bad or good

Just like most countries America has it's pros and cons

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

The insanity levels of Trump are both jaw dropping and scary.

Cut your nose of to spite your face.

How can any rational person support this megalomaniac.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

I dislike to agree with Trump

Doesn’t come across that way. You seem to be quite a fan of him.

We all know mr Trump is all about America first.

A bit of the ‘influencer’ there.

Not all. One of the criticisms of Trump is that he has always been about Trump. This came from some disappointed Trump supporters as well as his detractors.

To start, this is the man who put his family in positions of power when they were clearly unqualified.

That’s not in the interests of the country.

So ‘all’ is way off the mark.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

I dislike to agree with Trump however if NATO members want to run with the big dogs then they gotta pay their dues

Pay up or shut up !

No double standards !

We all know mr Trump is all about America first.

Americans are tired of paying for everyones conflicts and being invaded constantly by illegal immigrants all in the name of freedom bs .

-9 ( +4 / -13 )

That's Ted Cruz's view,

Ah yes, Raphael Cancun Cruz - the voice of reason and effective leadership, lol.

If the cult went any farther down the rabbit hole of lunacy, it’d have to bring drilling equipment.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Not fit for the Oval office.

Indeed. More push-ups, less high calorie food.

0 ( +7 / -7 )

Few here realize how little support NATO has with American voters

We already went through that this morning. You’re wrong.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

It's a ”I scratch your back, you scratch mine." situation. By now, we know very well that Trump is counting on Putin's help for this year's election. Trump is seeking just quick profits or rewards without a long term vision and policy.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

The world needs peace and prosperity. Biden has been a disaster.

Bring back the Pax Trumpana.

-10 ( +3 / -13 )

A quick look at the names of those politicians who refuse to call him nuts shows Trump's supporters have caught his mental disease.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

Trump understand TOP 1% support Biden, about 85% approval. Unfortunately for Biden, he's losing big support in ALL other demographics. Biden's NATO agenda one of many reasons why, especially Biden's eastward expansion threatening Russia and risking WW III.

-10 ( +1 / -11 )

Not fit for the Oval office.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

Sadly anti-intellectualism is a feature and not a bug of the MAGA

It also breeds false confidence in the uneducated. They regurgitate whatever trash is being fed on the media they consume but when they occasionally go off script, you see the void yawn open.

They think watching a guest speaking on a topic on the likes of Joe Rogan equips them with all there is to know.

8 ( +11 / -3 )

If we could be so un-successful as Trump?!

Trump's message resonates because he wants to pursue global peace and security, core foundations necessary for prosperity and happiness at home and abroad!

Trump's no fan of war monger US led NATO and their track record of destabilization, death and destruction across the entire world these past few decades.

Most Americans like idea of avoiding WW III with Russia!

-9 ( +4 / -13 )

Thunderbird2Today 06:36 pm JST

He truly is a waste of DNA... if he's not senile then he's clearly insane. Why would anyone vote for this idiot. Don't Americans care about appearing stupid?

Sadly anti-intellectualism is a feature and not a bug of the MAGA.

10 ( +12 / -2 )

And thanks, Don. It really puts misspeaking about the president of Egypt in it’s proper context in terms of unimportance.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

He truly is a waste of DNA... if he's not senile then he's clearly insane. Why would anyone vote for this idiot. Don't Americans care about appearing stupid?

11 ( +13 / -2 )

In addition to being a moron ignorant of the basics of alliances (and the current ramp up in defense spending by NATO members),

Trump is a proto-fascist in the thrall (and likely compromised by) of fascists like Putin.

If it weren’t funding, it would be some other made-up excuse to throw our allies under the bus.

This statement alone is disgusting, disqualifying, and won’t be able to be spun.

Every non-cult member of the electorate knows that alliances are a source of strength.

They should be reminded of the xenophobic isolationist moron’s word every day.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

HopeSpringsEternalToday 06:30 pm JST

Few here realize how little support NATO has with American voters, massive financial blackhole of NATO being subsidized by US bigtime for many decades.

As usual, utter nonsense from you.

https://www.nato.int/nato_static_fl2014/assets/pdf/2023/7/pdf/2300707-pre-summit-research-2023.pdf

Trump's supporters do not believe now resolved Ukraine civil war centered in the Donbas, should have resulted in NATO and Russia being at brink of War III. Those in the Donbas achieved their legal independence and Russian citizenship. Seems obvious that is irreversible.

Mr. Putin made it clear in his recent Tucker Carlson interview, those in the Donbas sought independence for Cause, 10year civil war, that's now resolved. Mr. Putin's amazed as well that NATO is so obsessed with the Donbas region, which has no strategic importance.

It seems approximately 10M former Ukrainians all call Russia their home now since 2014 as Russian citizens. This is no accident but rather their legal choice which NATO Members should respect. That's Trump's view!

Seems obvious what Russia did was illegal.

10 ( +12 / -2 )

Few here realize how little support NATO has with American voters, massive financial blackhole of NATO being subsidized by US bigtime for many decades.

Trump's INTENTIONALLY manipulating Media in order to make NATO a more relevant campaign issue.

Trump's supporters do not believe now resolved Ukraine civil war centered in the Donbas, should have resulted in NATO and Russia being at brink of War III. Those in the Donbas achieved their legal independence and Russian citizenship. Seems obvious that is irreversible.

Mr. Putin made it clear in his recent Tucker Carlson interview, those in the Donbas sought independence for Cause, 10year civil war, that's now resolved. Mr. Putin's amazed as well that NATO is so obsessed with the Donbas region, which has no strategic importance.

It seems approximately 10M former Ukrainians all call Russia their home now since 2014 as Russian citizens. This is no accident but rather their legal choice which NATO Members should respect. That's Trump's view!

-14 ( +2 / -16 )

toraToday 05:41 pm JST

Why don't NATO countries just print money and pay for it. After all, America is doing just that.

They already do and it typically isn't just printing when you aren't poor.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

stanToday 05:45 pm JST

When the crying from the left die down in about 24 hours, the conversation around the deadbeat NATO membership will start. As is usual, Trump is right.

No, violating Article 5 will still be wrong in 24 hours.

10 ( +12 / -2 )

Trump if he becomes president will not have the authority to take the US out of NATO.

Congress approves bill barring any president from unilaterally withdrawing from NATO

https://thehill.com/homenews/4360407-congress-approves-bill-barring-president-withdrawing-nato/

13 ( +17 / -4 )

Why Trump's billionaire and does not depend on donor class and political establishment. 

Trump is constantly asking for donations and selling t-shirts of his mugshot. His PAC is out of money. Big legal bills to be paid. Last week he auctioned off a car.

13 ( +18 / -5 )

*was it

5 ( +8 / -3 )

His NATO pressure approach reflects his political philosophy

Trump on foreign policy?

The only types impressed with this would be those who can’t read a basic map.

Any revelatory information for us on how many countries the USSR broke into? Was is more than 3?

9 ( +12 / -3 )

Donald Trump flaws in his disposition temperament are his own worst enemy.

"No, I would not protect you. In fact I would encourage them (Russia) to do whatever the hell they want. You gotta pay,"

The tone and demeaner from a "sopranos" debt collecting thug.

Diplomacy and International Politics Program  

https://worldwide.harvard.edu/diplomacy-and-international-politics-program

Remember you are never too old to learn.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

Why Trump's billionaire and does not depend on donor class and political establishment.

Hahahaha oooof my sides.

10 ( +15 / -5 )

The last time NATO enacted Article 5 when a member state was attacked was the USA on 9/11. The day after, 10/11. NATO planes immediately flew to the US.

12 ( +17 / -5 )

Why Trump's billionaire and does not depend on donor class and political establishment. He's trying to disrupt in order to make things better for US and its citizenry. His NATO pressure approach reflects his political philosophy.

-23 ( +2 / -25 )

"Nice country ya got there. Be a shame if somethin' happened to it" is what Trump's basically threatening.

He's a gangster and grifter through and through and always will be.

17 ( +20 / -3 )

Let's just hope he doesn't get re-elected.

11 ( +17 / -6 )

FYI, on issues related to defense, overseas, Ukraine, Israel, Mid-East, NATO, National Security, etc. Trump's polling WAY ahead of Biden. Per NBC polling last week.

-19 ( +2 / -21 )

Of course, it's a Nikki talking point for campaigning and those that support her!

Trump's pressure campaign on NATO Members is if you expect the benefits of membership, then PAY UP or GET OUT. Suppose he asks same of his Golf Club Members!

It's not unreasonable for TRUMP to pressure free-riders, especially rich countries like Germany that for many decades, not spent their fair share to support NATO.

TRUMP's TRYING to create Media storm to highlight this issue with US voters, that US keeps paying NATO 'tab'.

-17 ( +3 / -20 )

Proof, if you need it, Trump works for Putin.

20 ( +24 / -4 )

When the crying from the left die down in about 24 hours, the conversation around the deadbeat NATO membership will start. As is usual, Trump is right.

Christie, Haley and Graham are all establishment lo hoo hoosers, anyway. They and the zombies rue the fact Trump brought us 4 years of peace and prosperity.

-24 ( +4 / -28 )

He gone done messed up big this time.

9 ( +13 / -4 )

Why don't NATO countries just print money and pay for it. After all, America is doing just that.

-11 ( +4 / -15 )

This is just the beginning !

7 ( +10 / -3 )

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites