Trump’s NATO comments labelled ‘unhinged’

Likely Republican US presidential candidate Donald Trump has encouraged Russia to attack any NATO countries that don’t meet their financial obligations, in comments labelled “appalling and unhinged” by the White House (The Guardian).

At a campaign rally in South Carolina over the weekend, Trump claimed that during a NATO meeting while he was president he told another world leader that the US under his leadership would not defend a country that failed its monetary obligations under the defence agreement.

He added that he would “encourage them to do whatever the hell they want” to these “delinquent” nations.

White House spokesperson Andrew Bates said that “encouraging invasions of our closest allies by murderous regimes is appalling and unhinged”.

NATO countries in 2014 agreed to spend 2% of GDP on defence by 2024, something which only seven of 31 members were meeting as of 2022.

NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg said the comments put lives at risk and that any attack on a member country would be met with a “united and forceful response” (The Guardian).

Trump also raised concerns with US aid being provided to Ukraine after Republicans blocked a bill including funding for the country’s resistance to the Russian invasion last week.