The former US President Donald Trump has been criticised by NATO for putting “American and European soldiers” at an increased risk after saying he would allow Russia to do “whatever the hell they want.”
Trump has said that he will “encourage” Russia “to do whatever the hell” they want to any NATO country if they do not meet the spending guidelines on defence if he is re-elected.
Speaking in South Carolina Trump told people at a rally that until he became President of America NATO was “busted.”
He told a crowd on Saturday, “NATO was busted until I came along.
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“I said, ‘Everybody’s gonna pay.’ They said, ‘Well, if we don’t pay, are you still going to protect us?’ I said, ‘Absolutely not.’ They couldn’t believe the answer.”
Trump said that “one of the Presidents of a big country” had asked him if America would still defend them if Russia invaded and they “don’t pay.”
NATO said in response to Trump’s comments, “NATO remains ready and able to defend all allies. Any attack on NATO will be met with a united and forceful response.
“Any suggestion that allies will not defend each other undermines all of our security, including that of the US, and puts American and European soldiers at increased risk.
“I expect that regardless of who wins the presidential election the US will remain a strong and committed NATO ally.”
The White House blasted Trump’s remarks and said that they were “appalling and unhinged.”
White House spokesperson Andrew Bates said in a statement, “President Biden has restored our alliances and made us stronger in the world because he knows every commander in chief’s first responsibility is to keep the American people safe and hold true to the values that unite us.
“Encouraging invasions of our closest allies by murderous regimes is appalling and unhinged – and it endangers American national security, global stability, and our economy at home.”