As US President, Trump does not want to protect defaulting NATO states from attacks

Former US President Donald Trump has announced that if he is re-elected, he will not protect defaulting NATO members from a Russian attack. “No, I will not protect you,” Trump quoted his own statements at an unspecified meeting with the president of a NATO state at a rally in South Carolina on Saturday (local time). He would even encourage Russia to do “whatever they want.” The White House called Trump’s comments “appalling and crazy.”

The current leading contender for the Republican presidential nomination said at the rally in Conway: “One of the presidents of a great country stood up and said, ‘Well, sir, if we don’t pay up and we get attacked by Russia, will you protect us?’ I said, ‘You haven’t paid, you’re delinquent?'” Trump reported. In that case he will not protect the country. The ex-president had repeatedly emphasized how unfair it was that the USA had to stand up for the defense of the 30 other member states.

The White House reacted angrily to Trump’s denial of the NATO assistance clause. “Encouraging invasions of our closest allies by murderous regimes is appalling and crazy,” spokesman Andrew Bates said Saturday evening. Instead of calling for wars and promoting “deranged chaos,” US President Joe Biden will “continue to strengthen American leadership.”

Trump’s Republicans have been blocking the release of additional billions in aid for Ukraine, which has been attacked by Russia, for months. On Wednesday, a legislative package that included support for Israel and billions for US border security as well as around 60 billion euros (56 billion euros) in new aid for Kiev failed in the Senate.

Representatives of several German parties viewed Trump’s statements as a wake-up call to do more for their own defense. Despite all the election campaign noise, it must now be clear to everyone in Europe that the USA can no longer and does not want to be an unconditional protecting power, said the defense policy spokesman for the Union faction, Florian Hahn (CSU), among others, to the “Handelsblatt”.

During his appearance in South Carolina, Trump also announced massive deportations if he were re-elected. “From day one, I will end the Biden administration’s entire open borders policy and we will launch the largest national deportation operation in the history of the United States,” the 77-year-old Republican said.

The so-called National Security Amendment included a total of $20.2 billion for border security. In addition, the compromise negotiated by Democrats and Republicans included numerous changes to immigration policy.

Linking foreign aid to the issue of US border security was originally a concession from Biden’s Democrats to the Republicans. The reason for the Republicans’ current resistance is the rejection by Trump, who wants to use border policy as a campaign issue again on his way to a second term in office.

During the election campaign for his first presidency from 2017, the construction of a “big, beautiful wall” on the US border with Mexico was one of his central projects.

The US Senate is now considering a package that completely decouples foreign aid from border policy. The $95 billion package, which largely includes aid for Ukraine but also funds for Israel and Taiwan, is expected to be discussed next week.

At the rally in South Carolina, Trump also taunted his rival for the Republican nomination, Nikki Haley, who was a former governor in the US state. In his address to voters in Haley’s home state, Trump raised the question of her husband Michael’s remaining in the election campaign. “Where is your husband? Oh, he’s out of town (…) What happened to your husband?” Trump blasphemed.

The person addressed hit back on the online platform X, formerly Twitter. “Michael is deployed and serving our country, something you don’t know about. Someone who continually disrespects the sacrifices of military families has no place as commander in chief here,” Haley wrote, referring to her husband’s deployment to the Horn of Africa.

Haley is considered Trump’s only internal party competitor in the fight for the Republican presidency. However, in the primaries that have already been held, she has always trailed her former sponsor.