Trump told a campaign rally in South Carolina on Saturday that while he was president he told NATO leaders that he would “encourage [Russia] to do whatever the hell they want” to alliance allies that were “delinquent” in meeting the group’s defense spending targets.
“Reckless statements on NATO’s security and Article 5 solidarity serve only Putin’s interest,” European Council President Charles Michel said. “They do not bring more security or peace to the world,” he wrote on X, adding that “they reemphasize the need for the EU to urgently further develop its strategic autonomy and invest in its defense. And to keep our Alliance strong.”
Internal Market Commissioner Thierry Breton also weighed in, telling French TV channel TF1: “We cannot gamble our security every 4 years. … American democracy is sick.”
The German Foreign Office responded to Trump’s comments with an X post reading “One for all and all for one” with the hashtag “StrongerTogether” attached.
Polish Deputy Foreign Minister Paweł Zalewski called Trump’s comments “very worrying.”
“He correctly calls on member countries to spend more on defense, but he also calls on Russia to attack,” Zalewski told POLITICO. “This is completely incomprehensible.”