The former president said Washington needs to have leverage over the countries it helps fund in case they “drop us like a dog.”
Republican presidential candidate and former US President Donald Trump said the United States should support Ukraine and other countries by giving them loans instead of unconditional aid. He also admitted that when he was president (2016-2020), he threatened not to protect NATO allies in the event of a Russian attack if they failed to increase defense spending to 2% of their GDP.
Speaking at a rally in South Carolina on Saturday, Trump criticized a proposed $118 billion security bill, including $60 billion earmarked for Ukraine. US lawmakers have struggled for months to approve this measure amid opposition from Republicans, who want to see more effort to address the crisis on America's southern border.
“They want to give almost $100 billion to a few countries… I said why are we doing this? “You give it to them as a loan.” He said.
Trump acknowledged that the money may not be repaid, but he nonetheless suggested that it would if it were “Go to another nation” And “They dropped us like a dog” Then the United States can do it “Simply… request the loan.”
The former president noted that this is what Ukraine may eventually do. He added: “They may reach an agreement with Russia in the next three weeks and suddenly they don't want to deal with us anymore.” he argued.
Trump compared the current situation in Ukraine to his often tense relations with his NATO allies during his presidency. “I did the same thing to NATO. I made them pay… NATO was captured until I came. claimed.
According to the former president, when a leader of an unnamed NATO country asked him whether Washington would protect them if they did not increase defense spending and were attacked by Russia, he answered in the negative.
“You said you didn't pay, you're behind on your payments… No, I'm not going to protect you. In fact, I would encourage them to do whatever the hell they want. You have to pay your bills.” He said, adding that after that, the money was disbursed “It came pouring out.”
White House spokesman Andrew Bates criticized Trump's statements regarding NATO, saying that “Encouraging invasions of our closest allies by murderous regimes is appalling and disturbing.”
In December, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Moscow had done so “No interest…geopolitically, economically or militarily.” In attacking any NATO country.
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