Trump stands by his criticism of 'obsolete' NATO

Trump stands by his criticism of 'obsolete' NATO
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Donald TrumpDonald TrumpWarren says Republican party 'eating itself and it is discovering that the meal is poisonous' More than 75 Asian, LGBTQ groups oppose anti-Asian crime bill McConnell says he's 'great admirer' of Liz Cheney but mum on her removal MORE on Thursday doubled down on comments questioning the United States’s contributions to NATO, days after bombs went off in the treaty organization’s home base of Brussels.


In Twitter posts on Thursday morning, the Republican presidential front-runner called the 67-year-old security organization “obsolete” and complained that the U.S. pays a “disproportionate share” of its cost.


The comments follow Tuesday’s terror attack at Brussels’ main airport and a downtown metro station, which reinforced anxieties about extremists linked to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). The Maelbeek metro station targeted by terrorists is roughly four miles from NATO's headquarters.

On Monday, Trump told The Washington Post’s editorial board that the post-World War II treaty organization “was set up at a different time” when the U.S. was “a richer country.”

“I think NATO as a concept is good, but it is not as good as it was when it first evolved,” he told the Post. “I’m not even knocking it, I’m just saying I don’t think it’s fair, we’re not treated fair.”

The comments were strongly questioned by leading security voices, who have preached the benefits of multilateral institutions such as NATO.

Having Washington turn its back on its alliances would undercut its position in the world and empower its adversaries, Trump’s critics warned in the wake of his remarks.

Russian President Vladimir Putin “already hopes to divide Europe,” Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonMore than half of eligible Latinos voted in 2020, setting record Fox News signs Trey Gowdy, Dan Bongino for new shows The Memo: GOP attacks bounce off Biden MORE said in a speech at Stanford University on Wednesday that repeatedly hammered Trump and Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzYang: Those who thought tweet in support of Israel was 'overly simplistic' are correct CNN asks Carol Baskin to comment on loose Texas tiger Republicans have dumped Reagan for Trump MORE, his top Republican rival.

“If Mr. Trump gets his way, it will be like Christmas in the Kremlin.”

Cruz has said that Trump’s position on NATO would be "a major victory” for not just Putin, but also ISIS.

"Donald Trump is wrong that America should withdraw from the world and abandon our allies," Cruz said on Tuesday.

“America’s power rests in its alliances and its preparedness to honor its treaty commitments,” added Adam Ereli, a former diplomat and State Department spokesman, in an interview with The Hill this week. “Casting doubt on the reliability of those commitments is insane.”

However, some analysts have noted that Trump’s comments in some ways echo complaints from President Obama, who has bemoaned “free riders” who benefit from the U.S.’s overwhelming military might.

“Free riders aggravate me,” Obama said in a recently published interview in the Atlantic.

Trump’s comments are a part of a long string of concerning policy positions that have aggravated fellow Republicans. Some prominent GOP defense minds are now openly considering siding with Clinton in a general election matchup between her and Trump.