Headline RoundupFebruary 11th, 2024

Trump Said As President He Warned NATO Ally: U.S. Will Not Defend Those Delinquent on Payments

Summary from the AllSides News Team

Donald Trump recounted a conversation he had with a NATO leader while President on Saturday, in which he said the U.S. would not protect a NATO ally delinquent on dues.

Direct Quote: “I did the same thing with NATO. I got them to pay up. NATO was busted until I came along. I said, ‘Everybody’s gonna pay.’ They said, ‘Well, if we don’t pay are you going to protect us?’ I said, ‘Absolutely not.’… You never saw more money pour in….” Trump added, “One of the presidents of a big country stood up and said, ‘Well sir, if we don’t pay, and we’re attacked by Russia, will you protect us?’ I said… ‘No, I would not protect you. In fact, I would encourage them to do whatever the hell they want.’”

For Context: Trump’s comments came amidst gripes over the disparity between European and U.S. aid to Ukraine, and how Ukraine can sever ties with NATO for a closer relationship with Russia at any time.

White House Response: White House spokesperson Andrew Bates said, “Encouraging invasions of our closest allies by murderous regimes is appalling and unhinged – and it endangers American national security, global stability, and our economy at home.”

How The Media Covered It: Most media across the spectrum framed headlines around Trump’s “whatever the hell they want” comment, but made it clear it was relative to delinquent payments. Some outlets, like Forbes (Center bias) and The Atlantic (Left bias) published sensational headlines pegged on the news, but were actually for opinion commentary.

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