“The money was flowing in streams”
Trump: I made NATO strong
February 13, 2024, 2:06 a.m
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Donald Trump rejects the outrage over his statement about the obligation to provide assistance to defaulting NATO members. According to his account, he is not only doing the USA a big favor, but also the defense alliance.
After a storm of indignation over his statement that he would not protect defaulting NATO allies in the event of re-election, former ex-President Donald Trump defended himself. “I made NATO strong,” Trump wrote in the online service he founded, Truth Social. “When I told the 20 countries that hadn’t paid their (…) share that they had to pay because otherwise they wouldn’t receive military protection from the US, the money started flowing,” the Republican explained.
After the US had been “paying the bill” for so many years, this was “a beautiful sight.” “But now that I’m no longer there to say ‘You have to pay,’ they’re starting again,” the former president continued.
Trump, who has a good chance of running against President Joe Biden in the presidential election in November, had already accused European NATO partners in his first term of office of investing too little money in defense and allowing themselves to be protected at the expense of the USA.
Scholz: Irresponsible and dangerous
On Saturday, Trump recounted an unspecified meeting with NATO partners at a rally in South Carolina: “One of the presidents of a major country stood up and said, ‘Well, sir, if we don’t pay up and we get attacked by Russia ‘Then will you protect us?'”. Trump responded by saying that in this case he would not protect the country and would even encourage Russia to do “whatever they want” with him.
The statement caused strong international criticism. Chancellor Olaf Scholz said that “any relativization of NATO’s guarantee of assistance is irresponsible and dangerous.” Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier criticized the statements as being “irresponsible” and playing into Russia’s hands. US President Joe Biden called Trump’s words “horrific and dangerous.”