Headline RoundupFebruary 12th, 2024

Conservatives Divided on Trump’s NATO Remarks

Summary from the AllSides News Team

Former President Donald Trump’s remarks that he would “encourage” Russia to “do whatever the hell they want” to NATO members who “don’t pay” prompted divided reactions from Republican leaders. 

Key Quotes: Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) told CNN (Lean Left bias) he had “zero concern” about Trump’s remarks, because “he’s been president before. I know exactly what he has done and will do with the NATO alliance. But there has to be an alliance. It’s not America’s defense with a bunch of small junior partners.” On the other hand, GOP presidential candidate and former U.N. ambassador Nikki Haley said Trump’s remarks lacked “moral clarity,” “should send a chill up everyone’s spine,” and made “Joe Biden look sane.”

For Context: Congressional Republicans are in the midst of a legislative battle over a standalone aid package for Israel and Ukraine. Some, like Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), are joining Democrats in supporting the aid package; others, like Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), oppose it. 

How the Media Covered It: News coverage was sometimes contradictory, highlighting Republicans who criticized Trump’s remarks, supported them, or both. Meanwhile, several writers rated Lean Right by AllSides wrote op-eds in outlets across the spectrum criticizing Trump for purportedly harming NATO’s deterrence capabilities. Outlets associated with Trump’s brand of conservatism tended not to publish opinions on Trump’s remarks. 

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