The former president doesn’t believe that the allies will honor their commitments
NATO will not come to the rescue if the US gets attacked, former President Donald Trump said on Saturday, continuing his tradition of criticizing the Western alliance.
According to Article 5 of the NATO Charter, an armed attack against one member state must be considered an attack against all of them. Trump said he does not count on the allies to rush to defend his country, however.
“We’re paying for NATO, and we don’t get so much out of it,” Trump told a crowd of supporters at a campaign event in Las Vegas, Nevada.
“And you know – I hate to tell you this about NATO – if we ever needed their help, let’s say we were attacked, I don’t believe they’d be there,” the former president said. “I know the people.”
The statement follows a long history of complaints leveled by Trump at the US-led alliance during and after his presidency. He famously ruffled many feathers in Brussels by claiming in 2017 that NATO was “obsolete.” He later repeatedly chastised Germany and other American allies for what he said was not spending enough on defense.
Similarly, Trump criticized President Joe Biden for providing military aid to Ukraine during its conflict with Russia. “We don’t have ammunition for ourselves, [yet] we’re giving away so much,” he said last year.
Trump also promised to end the fighting between Moscow and Kiev within “24 hours” and restore peace in the region if re-elected. Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky, however, said that Trump’s claim was unrealistic. Asked by NBC News in November if he believed that Trump would continue supporting Ukraine, Zelensky replied: “Really, I don’t know.”
Trump remains the frontrunner for the Republican Party’s nomination as their candidate against Biden. This month, he comfortably came first in the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primary, forcing Florida Governor Ron DeSantis to drop out. Former US envoy to the UN, Nikki Haley, is now Trump’s sole Republican rival.