‘They only serve Putin’s interests’: Wave of criticism over Trump’s inflammatory rhetoric about NATO

Trump’s criticism of developments at the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) is not new. He has even repeatedly threatened to withdraw the United States from the alliance. But this time it went too far, suggesting that the Kremlin would give a green light to attacks on countries within the organization that did not pay their dues.

“The president of a great power stood up and asked, ‘Well, sir, if we don’t pay and Russia attacks us, will you protect us?'” Trump said at the rally, adding: “I won’t Defending him instead, “I would encourage them (Russia) to do whatever they want. They have to pay, they have to pay their bills. “

‘Shocking and dangerous’ comments: White House response

White House spokesman Andrew Bates was quick to criticize Trump after he spoke at the rally: “It is shocking and crazy to encourage a murderous regime to invade our closest allies.”

Soon after, President Biden himself spoke out against such rhetoric, describing it as ‘Scary and dangerous’.

“Trump’s admission that he intends to wage more war and violence on Putin’s behalf, continue his brutal attacks on a free Ukraine, and extend his aggression to the people of Poland and the Baltic states is shocking and dangerous,” the president said. In a statement, the United States.

“They undermine security” and “only serve Putin’s interests”

For their part, the Union and EU leaders’ reaction was immediate.NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg pledged Trump’s comments “compromise everyone’s safety.”

“Any suggestion that allies do not defend each other undermines the security of everyone, including the United States, and puts U.S. and European soldiers at greater risk,” Stoltenberg said in a statement, adding , he hopes that the United States will continue to be “a strong and loyal NATO ally no matter who wins the presidential election.”

European Council President Charles Michel said Trump’s comments were “reckless” and assured that “they can only serve Putin’s interests”.

On Monday, EU foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell criticized NATO as an “a la carte alliance” that depends on the mood of the US president. Borrell added that NATO “exists or does not exist, but I will not waste my time commenting on any of the stupid ideas that have emerged during this campaign in the United States.”

Trump’s remarks were also not well received in Poland, which sits on the border with Ukraine and is highly concerned about Russia’s expansion and influence interests.

Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk said on Sunday that “a fierce war is taking place on our borders” and expressed concern about whether the United States would “show full solidarity with other NATO countries in the long-term confrontation with Russia.”

The German government wrote on social networks that it had “guaranteed the safety of more than 950 million people,” but did not directly mention Trump’s comments.

Republican congressmen soften Trump’s rhetoric

Yet while Trump’s comments about NATO sparked a wave of criticism, some Republican members of Congress have sought to defend or whitewash the former president’s incendiary remarks.

in phone interview New York Times On Sunday, South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham expressed surprise when asked about the topic: “Give me a break. I mean, this is Trump,” Graham said. “All I can say is that during Trump’s presidency, no one invaded anyone. “I think the point here is to make people pay in their own way,” he declared.

Likewise, Senate Intelligence Committee Vice Chairman Marco Rubio, a Republican, struck a pragmatic tone about Trump’s comments, ensuring they did not bother or worry him.

“He talked about how he used his influence to get people to take initiatives and become more active in NATO,” Rubio said on CNN’s State of the Union, defending the former president’s comments. “I don’t have any concerns because he has been president before. I know exactly what he has done and will do with the NATO alliance. But there has to be an alliance. It’s not about getting through a group of small but powerful people,” he added. Junior partners to defend America. ” This echoes Donald Trump’s many criticisms of the alliance.

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