Trump Reacted To Outrage About Threatening NATO By Threatening NATO Again

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Donald Trump, the continued front-runner for this year’s presidential nomination from the Republican Party, is still threatening the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

NATO operates on an agreement for mutual defense that’s activated in the event a member country is attacked. However, at a recent campaign rally in South Carolina, Trump suggested he would encourage Russia to advance militarily on NATO members who’d fallen short of ostensible financial obligations, the nature of which Trump misrepresents. Trump claimed that he relayed the stance in previous interactions with a fellow world leader when originally in office as president. Amid extensive outrage that a leading candidate for president would suggest abandoning the U.S.’ security commitments, he’s doing it again.

“When I told the 20 Countries that weren’t paying their fair share that they had to PAY UP, and said without doing that you will not have U.S. Military Protection, the money came rolling in,” Trump claimed online. “After so many years of the United States picking up the tab, it was a beautiful sight to see. But now, without me there to say YOU MUST PAY, they are at it again. We are into helping Ukraine for more than 100 Billion Dollars more than NATO. We have nobody that they respect, and they insist on paying far less than we do. Wrong, NATO HAS TO EQUALIZE, AND NOW. THEY WILL DO THAT IF PROPERLY ASKED. IF NOT, AMERICA FIRST!”

Money wasn’t “rolling in.” The spending targets that Trump consistently tries to reference are for individual countries’ domestic spending on their national defenses. It wasn’t a collective coffer, and member nations falling short of the long-term target weren’t “delinquent,” a word that Trump has also used. There is a clear distinction. And whatever the specific figures, there is seemingly no legal compulsion for NATO members to spend similarly to the United States in support of Ukraine amid its war with Russia.

Since Trump left office, new provisions were added to federal law blocking any individual president from withdrawing from NATO on their own, cutting off possibilities for Trump to expand his clear antagonism towards the alliance.