Trump says he may ‘encourage’ Russia to attack NATO allies

previous president Donald Trump He delivered a troubling message to US allies during a rally on Saturday where he outlined a scenario in which he “encourages” Russia to “do whatever the hell they want” to other NATO members.

Trump speaks to a crowd in Conway, South Carolina Tell a story Who portrayed himself as a tough-talking negotiator.

“NATO was dismantled until I came,” he began. I said: Everyone will pay. They said, “Well, if we don’t pay, will you still protect us?” I said: Certainly not. They couldn’t believe the answer.”

He rehashed the story after a few moments.

“One of the presidents of a large country stood up and said, ‘Well, sir, if we don’t pay and we get attacked by Russia, will you protect us?’ I said: Why did you pay? Are you a delinquent? He said: Yes, suppose that happened. No, I won’t protect you. “In fact, I would encourage them to do whatever they want,” Trump said.

“You have to pay. You have to pay your bills,” he added.

The crowd cheered loudly for the former president, who is famous for failing to pay bills On the electoral campaign trailAnd in his previous business endeavours.

It is not clear whether the scenario described by Trump actually occurred. Trump is often credited with pressuring other NATO members to contribute more funding during his first term.

But it is a flawed claim.

like Washington PostAnd other fact checkers As I noted, NATO member states pledged to increase their funding over 10 years at a 2014 summit held to counter Russian aggression. However, direct funding to NATO has increased since then Not at the pace necessary to reach the target set in 2014.

However, the alliance is primarily strengthened by… Indirect financingIt is the funding that member states spend on their individual armies, which can be called upon to assist the group if necessary. NATO Article 5 It states that member states must treat any attack on one country as an attack on all.

As of last year, Trump as president will no longer have the authority to unilaterally withdraw the United States from NATO.

While he has made various comments about the possibility of doing so in the past, Congress passed the legislation In December, he prohibited any president from withdrawing the United States from the organization without cooperation from Congress.

The move came amid ongoing efforts by a far-right faction of Republicans to reduce or halt US funding to Ukraine. The Eastern European country, which is seeking NATO membership, has been fending off a Russian takeover for nearly two years.

Trump suggested on Saturday A $95 billion aid package The Ukraine-Israel deal currently making its way through the Senate should instead take the form of a loan. He successfully lobbied Republicans to repeal a larger aid package that would address US immigration earlier this month.

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(tags for translation)Donald Trump

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