Trump Draws Fierce Backlash From Foes and Allies Alike Over NATO Russia Comments

( – Former President Donald Trump is no stranger to making incendiary comments. He regularly uses his social media platform, TRUTH Social, as a means of communicating with the public. However, many believe he went too far with his recent comments at a campaign rally.

On Saturday, February 9, Trump spoke before a crowd in South Carolina, where he was campaigning ahead of the primary, which is set to take place on February 24. During his speech, he said he would “encourage” Russia to “do whatever the hell they want” if it decided to attack a NATO member that wasn’t paying enough for its defense.

The remarks set off a slew of comments from the left. Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) said “everyone should be scared as hell” that if Trump “was reelected president, he would throw our NATO allies to [Vladimir] Putin.” The White House addressed the comments, too, saying they were “appalling and unhinged.”

Republicans had something to say, too. Former South Carolina governor and US ambassador, Nikki Haley, said, “The last thing we ever want to do is side with Russia.” Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) noted that it was a “stupid thing to say,” while Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) disagreed “with the way he said it.”

Indeed, Trump has never been a fan of the way NATO is structured, having been informed upon taking office in 2017 how the alliance works. Article 5 of the treaty states that an attack on one member is an attack on all, meaning allies would do what they deem necessary to help.

According to The New York Times, he was appalled at the fact that should Russia attack Lithuania, using the smaller European country as an example, the US would, as a NATO member, “go to war with” the aggressor, saying, “That’s crazy.” He went so far as to threaten to withdraw the US from the alliance.

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