Flynn to ask Trump to expand NATO: report

Flynn to ask Trump to expand NATO: report
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President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump suggests some states may 'pay nothing' as part of unemployment plan Trump denies White House asked about adding him to Mount Rushmore Trump, US face pivotal UN vote on Iran MORE’s national security adviser will suggest he support letting another nation join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), according to a new report.

Michael Flynn “is expected to recommend Montenegro’s ascension into NATO to Trump in the coming days,” a senior administration official told Politico on Monday.

Trump could block Montenegro’s bid, Politico added, as the alliance requires unanimous support from all its members. 

Politico reports that allowing Montenegro into NATO would bother Russia, which opposes any eastward expansion of the Western military alliance. 

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Montenegrin leaders, it said, have also accused Russian President Vladimir PutinVladimir Vladimirovich PutinBlumenthal calls for declassification of materials detailing Russian threat to US elections Not a pretty picture: Money laundering and America's art market Trump brushes off view that Russia denigrating Biden: 'Nobody's been tougher on Russia than I have' MORE of stoking instability in their nation.

Putin has tried eroding support for Montenegro’s inclusion in NATO, Montenegrin leaders say, through alleged plots by pro-Russian movements to attack its parliament and kill its prime minister last year.

Twenty-three of the 28 governments comprising NATO have backed Montenegro’s addition, with Canada, Germany, Spain, the Netherlands and the U.S. yet to weigh in. Montenegro’s parliament must ultimately ratify an accord on joining NATO, should the alliance support its addition.

Albania and Croatia joined NATO in 2009, making Montenegro the third Balkan nation to potentially enter the group.

Adding a new NATO member is a treaty measure, requiring support from two-thirds of senators to secure passage.

The U.S. Constitution delegates the power to negotiate treaties to the president, meaning Trump could refuse to relay the ratification to NATO, stalling the process indefinitely.

Trump has repeatedly questioned NATO’s usefulness, and he has also voiced openness to having closer ties with Putin.

The president defended Putin during a Fox News interview aired Sunday when host Bill O’Reilly called the Russian leader “a killer.”

“There are a lot of killers,” Trump said. "We’ve got a lot of killers. What, you think our country is so innocent?”

Democrats and Republicans alike have criticized Trump’s warmth towards Putin and his Sunday comments, arguing the Russian leader is a longstanding enemy of U.S. interests.