President Biden went after former President Trump on Sunday for his comments admitting he once threatened NATO allies he would “encourage” Russian aggression, calling the remarks “appalling and dangerous.”
Trump recounted the remarks during a campaign rally Saturday, saying he “would encourage” Russia “to do whatever the hell they want” to countries that are “delinquent” on NATO financial and military contributions.
Biden warned Sunday that a second Trump term would destroy American relations abroad and embolden the country’s enemies.
“If my opponent, Donald Trump, is able to regain power, he is making it clear as day that he will abandon our NATO allies if Russia attacks and allow Russia to ‘do whatever the hell they want’ with them,” he said in a statement.
“Serving as Commander-in-Chief is the ultimate responsibility and one that should weigh heavily on the individuals that hold this office,” he continued. “Donald Trump’s admission that he intends to give Putin a greenlight for more war and violence, to continue his brutal assault against a free Ukraine, and to expand his aggression to the people of Poland and the Baltic States are appalling and dangerous.”
“Sadly, they are also predictable coming from a man who is promising to rule as a dictator like the ones he praises on day one if he returns to the oval office,” he added.
Biden’s comments come after the White House denounced Trump on Saturday night, calling him “unhinged.” Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) also joked that Russian President Vladimir Putin “must be absolutely thrilled” about Trump’s words.
GOP rival Nikki Haley also hit Trump for the comments, warning the former president to not “take the side of a thug,” referring to Putin.
Haley added that she would “absolutely” stand with NATO if elected president.
“NATO has been a success story for the last 75 years,” she said in a CBS “Face the Nation” interview Sunday.
Trump was critical of NATO allies while president and repeatedly threatened to undermine the international defensive alliance.
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said in a statement Sunday that “any suggestion that allies will not defend each other undermines all of our security, including that of the U.S., and puts American and European soldiers at increased risk.”
Trump has similarly called on the U.S. to halt foreign aid spending, including to Ukraine, raising concerns among Democrats and America’s allies in Europe.
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Author: Nick Robertson