NATO Secretary General: Trump statement "undermines our security"

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has sharply criticized former US President Donald Trump’s statements about not defending defaulting NATO allies in the event of re-election. “Any suggestion that allies will not defend themselves undermines our overall security, including that of the United States, and puts U.S. and European soldiers at increased risk,” Stoltenberg said in Brussels on Sunday.

Trump, currently the most promising candidate for the Republican presidential nomination, reported on Saturday at a rally in the US state of South Carolina about an unspecified meeting with the president of a NATO state. “One of the presidents of a major country stood up and said, ‘Well, sir, if we don’t pay 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. Trump said he would even encourage Russia to do “whatever they want.” The ex-president had repeatedly emphasized in the past 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.”