Biden calls Trump’s NATO remarks at Coastal Carolina University ‘appalling and dangerous’

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CONWAY, S.C. (WBTW) — President Joe Biden called Donald Trump’s threat of letting NATO countries that don’t pay fend for themselves “appalling and dangerous” in a news statement on Sunday.

Speaking at Coastal Carolina University the day before, Trump boasted about withholding U.S. aid to NATO allies that fall behind on their payments to the alliance.

“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?'” Trump said. “I said, you didn’t pay? You’re delinquent?’ He said, ‘yes, let’s say that happened.'”

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“No, I would not protect you,” Trump said. “In fact, would encourage Russia to do whatever the hell they want. You’ve got to pay. You’ve got to pay your bills.”

Biden said Trump’s comments were “appalling and dangerous,” echoing the response of several NATO allies.

“Donald Trump’s admission that he intends to give Putin a green light for more war and violence … are appalling and dangerous,” Biden said in a news release. America’s leadership on the world stage and support for our allies is critical to keeping the American people safe here at home.”

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg took a similar position.

“Any suggestion that allies will not defend each other undermines all of our security, including that of the U.S., and puts American and European soldiers at increased risk,” he said in a statement.

In 2014, NATO allies pledged to move toward spending 2% of GDP on defense by 2024. According to NATO estimates in early 2023, 10 of its 30 member states at the time were close to or above the 2% mark, while 13 were spending 1.5% or less.

No country is in debt to any other, or to NATO.

Information from the Associated Press was used in this story.

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Adam Benson joined the News13 digital team in January 2024. He is a veteran South Carolina reporter with previous stops at the Greenwood Index-Journal, Post & Courier and The Sun News in Myrtle Beach. Adam is a Boston native and University of Utah graduate. Follow Adam on X, formerly Twitter, at @AdamNewshound12. See more of his work here.

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