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By The Smartencyclopedia Staff & Agencies

Former U.S. President hints at past remarks where he allegedly encouraged Russia to invade a NATO member if they failed to meet financial obligations.

In a recent rally in South Carolina, former U.S. President Donald Trump disclosed a conversation he claimed to have had with a NATO member leader, where he suggested he would encourage countries like Russia to invade if they didn’t fulfill their financial commitments to the Atlantic Alliance.

During the event, Trump recounted a past meeting with NATO leaders where a representative from “a major country” asked him what he would do if Russia invaded their nation while they were not meeting their financial obligations to the Alliance. Trump claimed to respond, “You didn’t pay, you delinquent? No, I wouldn’t protect you. I’d encourage them to do whatever they want. You’ve got to pay.”

Financial contributions to NATO became a contentious issue during Trump’s presidency, with the former president insisting that all member states adhere to the commitment to spend at least 2% of their GDP on defense. The situation has evolved since Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022, with several countries increasing their contributions.

Trump’s statements, suggesting not only a lack of assistance to an invaded country but active encouragement for the adversary, raise concerns about a potential violation of Article 5 of the NATO Treaty. Article 5 considers an invasion against one member state as an attack against all.

While addressing the crowd, the ex-president, who previously pledged to build a wall between the U.S. and Mexico during his victorious first presidential campaign, reiterated his commitment to prioritize migrant deportations if he returns to office.

“From day one, I’ll put an end to all of the Biden administration’s open border policies, and we will launch the largest deportation operation in the history of the United States. We have no choice,” Trump asserted.

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