Republicans say Trump’s call for Russia to attack NATO allies was actually a good one

A prominent Republican senator said Donald Trump It was “just ringing a warning bell” when it caused global alarm advertisement It will encourage Russia to attack NATO Allies Who did not pay enough to maintain the coalition, as Trump’s party closed ranks behind its presumptive presidential nominee.

Related: NATO Secretary General says Trump’s comments could endanger the lives of the United States and the European Union

“NATO countries that don’t spend enough on defense, like Germany, are already encouraging Russian aggression, and President Trump is simply sounding a warning bell,” said Tom Cotton of Arkansas, a former soldier. He told the New York Times.

“Strength, not weakness, deters aggression. Russia has invaded Ukraine twice under Barack Obama and Joe Biden, but not under Donald Trump.

Cotton was referring to annexation Crimea in 2014 and Invade Ukraine in 2022.

As president between 2017 and 2021, Trump is widely believed to have demonstrated a worrying, and arguably… Dependencyto Vladimir Putin.

Trump made the controversial statements during a rally in South Carolina on Saturday.

In statements to The Times He said It was not part of Trump’s scheduled speech but repeated a story he often told. “One of the presidents of a great country stood up and said, ‘Well, sir, if we don’t pay, we will,'” the former president said. “We were attacked by Russia, will you protect us?”

“I said: ‘You haven’t paid, you’re in arrears?’ He said: ‘Yes, suppose that happened.’ No, I’m not going to protect you. In fact, I would encourage them (Russia) to do whatever they want. You have to pay. You have to “You pay your bills. The money rolls in.”

Amid intense controversy over comments Biden’s White House described as “appalling and disturbing,” Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, another Republican hawk in the Senate, said: He told the Times: “Give me a break – I mean it’s Trump.”

Graham, who hesitated to warn that Trump would “DemolitionThe GOP, which has full support, added: “All I can say is that when Trump was president, no one invaded anyone. “I think the goal here is, in its way, to convince people to pay.”

Last year Marco Rubio Co-sponsored A law that prevents presidents from withdrawing from NATO unilaterally. On Sunday, the Florida senator who Trump Mocked He was defeated in the 2016 primaries, and also rejected Trump’s comments about Russia.

“Donald Trump is not a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.” Rubio told CNNIn reference to a research center in Washington. “He doesn’t talk like a traditional politician, and we’ve been through that already. You’d think people would have figured that out by now.”

Among other Republicans in the Senate, there was somewhat silence push back. North Carolina’s Thom Tillis reportedly blamed Trump’s aides for failing to explain to him how NATO would work, while Kentucky’s Rand Paul was quoted by Politico as saying Trump’s comments represented “a stupid thing to say.”

Trump’s final contender for the presidential nomination, which he is certain to secure, is Nikki Haley, who served as UN ambassador under Trump. In response to a question about his comments, Haley He told CBS“NATO has been a success story over the past 75 years. But what bothers me about this is: Do not side with the murderer (Vladimir Putin) who kills his opponents. Do not side with someone who entered and invaded a country (Ukraine) and was killed or injured.” Half a million people because of Putin.

“Now, we want NATO allies to do their best. But there are ways you can do that without sitting there and saying to Russia: ‘Do whatever you want with these countries.’ And that’s not what we want.”

A previous candidate for the nomination, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, told NBC that NATO’s comments were “completely inappropriate” and “consistent with his love of dictators.”

Trump’s former aides include John Bolton, Trump’s third national security adviser, He told MSNBC“When he says he wants to leave NATO, I think he represents a very real threat, and it will have significant negative impacts on the United States, not just in the North Atlantic but around the world.”

H.R. McMaster, Bolton’s predecessor, who was an Army general when Trump chose him, He said Trump’s comment about NATO was “irresponsible.”

Another former general and former Trump adviser, Keith Kellogg, told the Times he believed Trump was “on to something” with his comments, which Kellogg said were aimed at urging member states to bolster their defenses.

“I don’t think that’s encouraging at all,” Kellogg said He said From Trump’s clear message to Russia. “We know what he means when he says that.”

But Liz Cheney, the former Republican congresswoman from Wyoming who became an opponent of Trump after the January 6 attack on Congress, Named NATO is “the most successful military alliance in history…essential to deter war and defend American security.” She added: “No sane American president can encourage Putin to attack our NATO allies. “No honorable American leader will excuse or support this.”

(tags for translation)Donald Trump

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