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White House denounces Trump’s NATO remarks as ‘appalling and unhinged’

Recounting meeting with NATO leaders, Trump suggested that non-paying allies would not be protected

Former US President Donald Trump speaks to an audience at the “American Freedom Tour” event in Memphis, Tennessee, US, June 18, 2022. —Reuters

The White House sharply criticised former president Donald Trump’s recent remarks regarding NATO, characterising his position on not defending allies from a potential Russian invasion as “appalling and unhinged.” 

In recounting a meeting with NATO leaders during a political rally in South Carolina, Trump suggested that non-paying allies would not be protected. 

White House spokesperson Andrew Bates swiftly condemned the comments, stating that encouraging invasions of allies by murderous regimes is not only alarming but also endangers American national security, global stability, and the domestic economy.

Bates emphasised the drastic shift in approach under President Joe Biden, who assumed office in 2021. Biden has actively worked to restore and strengthen US alliances, ensuring that NATO stands as the largest and most vital it has ever been. 

In contrast to Trump’s criticisms and funding cuts to NATO during his presidency, Bates highlighted Biden’s commitment to bolstering American leadership and standing up for national security interests.

With Trump currently leading in some polls, concerns have surfaced regarding the potential impact of a Trump victory on US commitment to the NATO alliance. 

Despite these concerns, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg expressed confidence in ongoing alliance support and noted that European allies were increasing their military contributions and moving in the right direction regarding defence spending.

While Trump has remained sceptical about NATO countries supporting the US in case of an attack, the Biden administration continues to emphasise the importance of alliances and collective defence. 

The US has provided substantial aid to Ukraine, totalling around $75 billion since Russia’s full-scale invasion in February 2022, with additional contributions from other NATO members and partner states exceeding $100 billion.

As Trump’s stance raises questions about NATO’s future, the White House remains steadfast in its commitment to fortifying alliances and addressing global challenges. 

The ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine adds complexity to the geopolitical landscape, emphasising the critical role of alliances in maintaining international stability and security.

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