Trump: Statement about NATO was a negotiating tactic

Former US President Donald Trump has described his statements about NATO, which caused outrage among allies, as mere negotiating tactics. “What I'm saying is a way of negotiating,” the right-wing populist told the British broadcaster GB News on Tuesday. “Why should we protect these countries that have a lot of money while the US pays most of it for NATO?”

The 77-year-old Trump, who wants to run again for the Republicans in the US presidential election in November, said in February that he would not come to the aid of NATO partners in an attack if they did not spend enough on their defense. He would then even encourage Russia to do “whatever they want” with them.

During his first term in office, Trump had already questioned NATO and aggressively demanded that allies, especially Germany, spend more money on their defense. This year, 18 of the 31 allies are complying with the so-called NATO quota and spending at least two percent of their gross domestic product (GDP) on defense. According to diplomats in Brussels, Germany is at around 2.1 percent for the first time since the end of the Cold War.

If Trump wins the election, the allies are not only worried about the future of NATO, but also about US support for Ukraine. The Republican boasts that he will be able to end the Ukraine war on his first day in office.

In an interview with GB News, he reiterated that he was able to negotiate with Russian President Vladimir Putin. “I got along great with Putin,” he said. This is a good thing, not a bad thing.