Speaking at a rally in South Carolina on Saturday, Donald Trump made a series of comments that led to unease in terms of where his head is at when it comes to shielding NATO allies against Russian attack.
Remarking on a conversation he had during his time in office where a leader of a “big country” asked whether they would be protected if Russia attacked, Trump painted a picture of such protection having a price tag attached to it, telling the leader that the U.S. would not protect them if they didn’t pay their fair share in defense spending, according to NBC News.
“I said, ‘You didn’t pay? You’re delinquent?’” Trump said. “No, I would not protect you. In fact, I would encourage them to do whatever the hell they want. You got to pay. You got to pay your bills.”
In a statement on Trump's comments, White House Deputy Press Secretary and Senior Communications Adviser 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.”