President Donald Trump said privately multiple times last year that he wanted to pull the United States out of NATO, a move that aides scrambled to co
President Donald Trump said privately multiple times last year that he wanted to pull the United States out of NATO, a move that aides scrambled to counter, a new report claims.
Trump told top national security officials that he didn’t see the point of the international alliance that the U.S. founded alongside it’s European allies in Washington D.C. after World War II, the New York Times reported.
His discontent was especially high during the organization’s meeting over the summer in Brussels.
President Donald Trump said privately multiple times last year that he wanted to pull the United States out of NATO, a move that aides scrambled to counter, a new report claims
The American president reportedly threatened to withdrawal from the group during a closed-door session with world leaders, if they didn’t meet a soft obligation to contribute 2 percent of their respective nations’ GDP to NATO nations’ collective defense.
Neither the president nor the White House have commented on the Times’ report crystallizing Trump’s concerns.
President Trump did mention NATO in a pair of tweets before the report ran, however. He counted increased military spending among member nations as an achievement of his two-year-old administration.
‘For decades, politicians promised to secure the border, fix our trade deals, bring back our factories, get tough on China, move the Embassy to Jerusalem, make NATO pay their fair share, and so much else – only to do NOTHING (or worse),’ he said.
‘I am doing exactly what I pledged to do, and what I was elected to do by the citizens of our great Country. Just as I promised, I am fighting for YOU!’
The Times reported several hours later that the president considered a NATO withdrawal and aides to Trump were concerned that he could raise the issue again.
A senior White House official did not slap down the Times’ reporting but instead suggested that it was not currently his position. The official reminded that Trump said the alliance is ‘very strong’ and ‘very important’ in July when asked to comment by the paper.
According to the Times, aides including former Defense Secretary James Mattis and National Security Advisor John Bolton, scrambled to contain the situation last year, fearful that even discussing the prospect of the U.S. leaving could provide a crack in the historic alliance.
Forged after the allied victory in World War II, security experts credit NATO with helping preserve peace in Europe for decades while countering the Soviet threat.
Trump made the comments around the time of the NATO summit in Brussels in 2018, where he repeatedly went after allies for failing to live up to defense spending commitments, which Trump refers to as ‘dues,’ even though they are not mandatory for admission.
Russian President Vladimir Putin, who seeks to restore lost Soviet influence to Russia, is eager to see splits in the alliance that for years countered Warsaw Pact nations.
His budding relationship with Trump, who has shielded his conversations with Putin from even his senior-most aides, has sparked new concerns that he could ditch the organization, the Times reported.
Russian President Vladimir Putin, who seeks to restore lost Soviet influence to Russia, is eager to see splits in the alliance that for years countered Warsaw Pact nations
The Times, which did not include direct quote from the president in the story with his NATO-bashing, quoted former supreme allied commander of NATO Adm. James Stavridis as saying U.S. withdrawal would be ‘a geopolitical mistake of epic proportion.’
‘Even discussing the idea of leaving NATO — let alone actually doing so — would be the gift of the century for Putin,’ Stavridis said.
At a news conference in Brussels at the conclusion of the summit in 2018, Trump didn’t deny telling world leaders he wanted to pull out.
He said that he believes it’s ‘unnecessary’ now because ‘people have stepped up’ their contributions at his request.
‘Everybody in the room thanked me. There’s a great collegial spirit in that room that I don’t think they’ve had in many years. They’re very strong. So, yeah, very unified, very strong. No problem,’ he concluded.