Donald Trump says he threatened Nato allies not to protect them from Russia
Sylvie Claire / April 23, 2022
Donald Trump said Thursday that when he was president, he threatened Nato allies that they would not defend themselves if Russia attacked unless they funded the alliance more, in what he said was a bluff strategy.
Both during his election campaign and once in the White House, Donald Trump often presented Nato as a military alliance living off American largesse.
The Republican, who has frequently touted his negotiating skills, assured that it was a bluff, in order to obtain concessions.
Article 5 of the Nato treaty obliges members to protect any country in the alliance that is attacked.
But at a summit, Donald Trump suggested that the treaty would not be honored because everyone was a deadbeat.
One of the presidents asked me, Does that mean you won't protect us if we don't pay? You won't protect us from Russia?+, Donald Trump reported at an event of the conservative Heritage Foundation. I said, 'That's exactly what it means.
If I had said +No, that's not what I meant+, then why would they have paid, he said during his speech broadcast by conservative media outlet RSBN.
The billionaire said he was amazed that this threat was never revealed by the media.
Donald Trump has often been critical of Nato and other long-standing U.S. alliances, arguing that the United States spends too much money defending these countries, which he sees as rivals rather than partners.
We defend Europe and at the same time they rip us off, they rip us off very very seriously, he said Thursday night.
Donald Trump has also been frequently accused of having a complacent attitude towards Vladimir Putin.
In February, the invasion of Ukraine, a country that is not a member of Nato, by the master of the Kremlin, provoked a massive response from Washington and its European allies.