- Speaking at a campaign rally in South Carolina on Saturday, former Pres. Donald Trump said he would "encourage" Russia to do "whatever the hell" it wants to NATO members that didn't meet their financial obligations to the military alliance. Al Jazeera (LR: 2 CP: 1)
- Trump claimed that, during an unspecified meeting of leaders of NATO countries, he told "one of the presidents of a big country" that the US wouldn't defend an ally from a potential Russian invasion if they "don't pay" their bills. Guardian (LR: 2 CP: 5)
- US President Joe Biden condemned what he called "appalling and dangerous" statements by the former president, suggesting that his predecessor wanted to give Russian President Vladimir Putin a "greenlight for more war and violence." CNN (LR: 2 CP: 5)
- Meanwhile, Polish Deputy Foreign Minister Paweł Zalewski said that as "a serious candidate for president," Trump's words should be taken seriously as they indicate "a change to the logic of the U.S. presence in NATO." POLITICO
- According to NATO's collective defense clause, an attack against an ally is considered an attack against all allies, and member countries must take necessary actions to assist and protect any ally that is attacked. NATO
- NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg warned that Trump's comments undermined the Western military alliance's security and exposed American and European troops to greater risk. According to current NATO figures, 19 of its 30 member states — including Germany, Norway, and France — spend less than the 2% target of their annual GDP on defense. BBC News (LR: 3 CP: 5)
- It's utterly incomprehensible that Donald Trump — a likely Republican presidential nominee — is calling for wars, promoting deranged chaos, and suggesting the US wouldn't defend NATO allies from invaders if he's re-elected. While the former president's rhetoric is a reminder of the divisive rhetoric fuelling his campaign and an attempt to distract his followers from his criminal trials, his comments indicate a second Trump presidency could jeopardize US commitment to the transatlantic alliance.
- Support for NATO is overly burdensome on the US; Washington is paying more than its fair share, thereby draining its financial and military resources. It's also an excessive financial burden to guarantee the defense of 30 nations that are behind on their payments. Moreover, the US has provided Ukraine, a non-NATO member, with more financial support than any other country. It's time the US re-evaluates the military alliance's membership and pulls out if the bloc isn't meeting its purpose.
BREITBART (LR: 5 CP: 3)
- There's a 50% chance that Donald Trump will be elected US President in 2024, according to the Metaculus prediction community.
METACULUS (LR: 3 CP: 3)