Trump Repeats His Controversial NATO Remarks

Though he didn't repeat his comment about letting Russia do whatever it wants
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 15, 2024 12:00 AM CST
Donald Trump Stands By His Controversial NATO Remarks
Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally at Charleston Area Convention Center in North Charleston, S.C., Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2024.   (AP Photo/David Yeazell)

President Biden said the worst thing about former President Trump's NATO comments is that Trump really means them—and indeed, Trump doubled down on his remarks Wednesday during a campaign rally in South Carolina. He said, once again, that if elected president he wouldn't defend members of NATO who failed to contribute enough for defense spending. He told the same story he originally told in the state Saturday night, recounting a conversation he says he had with the head of a delinquent NATO member country, but the AP notes that this time he left out the most controversial line—the part where he says he'd tell Russia "to do whatever the hell they want" to such member countries.

He did, however, say, "Look, if they're not going to pay, we're not going to protect. OK?" Following the Saturday speech, Trump's advisers had attempted to spin his comments as "off the cuff" comments that should not be taken literally, Politico reports. Meanwhile, even former President Obama was getting involved, USA Today reports: Obama posted on X that his former VP "is absolutely right. The last thing we need right now is a world that is more chaotic and less secure; where dictators feel emboldened and our allies wonder if they can count on us. Let's keep moving forward."

(More Donald Trump stories.)

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