Republican front-runner Donald Trump has dropped yet another bombshell by saying that he would encourage Russia to attack NATO allies who pay little on defence. He also blamed US for not protecting NATO allies from a potential invasion by Russia. Rejecting his comments, White House termed it as "appalling and unhinged".
While speaking at a rally in South Carolina on Saturday, Trump recounted a story he has told before about his meeting with NATO leaders.
"One of the presidents of a big country stood up, said: 'Well sir if we
don't pay, and we're attacked by Russia- will you protect us?' I said: 'you didn't pay? You're delinquent?' He said: 'Yes, let's say that happened.' No I would not protect you, in fact I would encourage them to do whatever they want. You gotta pay."
NATO allies agreed in 2014, after Russia annexed Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula, to halt the spending cuts they had made after the Cold War and move toward spending 2% of their GDPs on defense by 2024, reported The Associated Press.
Trump's comments come at a time when Republicans in Congress have become skeptical of providing additional aid money to Ukraine as it struggles to keep up the ongoing fight with Russia.
"Encouraging invasions of our closest allies by murderous regimes is appalling and unhinged - and it endangers American national security, global stability and our economy at home," White House spokesperson Andrew Bates was quoted by Reuters.
Earlier Saturday, Trump called for the end of foreign aid ‘WITHOUT STRINGS ATTACHED’, arguing that the US should dramatically curtail the way it provides money.
“From this point forward, are you listening US Senate (?), no money in the form of foreign aid should be given to any country unless it is done as a loan, not just a giveaway," Trump wrote on his social media network.
He went on to add that money could be loaned on extraordinarily good terms with no interest and no date of repayment.
“If the country we are helping ever turns against us, or strikes it rich sometime in future, the loan will be paid off and the money returned to the United States,” he wrote.
Reportedly, during Trump's 2016 campaign, he had said that under his leadership he might abandon its NATO treaty commitments and only come to the defense of countries that meet the alliance's guidelines by committing 2 percent of their gross domestic products to military spending.