Home / OPINION / Analysis / Trump reiterates to NATO allies: If you don’t pay up, ‘I’m not going to protect you’

Trump reiterates to NATO allies: If you don’t pay up, ‘I’m not going to protect you’

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Meredith Mcgraw

The former president doubled down during a rally in South Carolina.

Former President Barack Obama echoed Biden on X, posting, “President Biden is absolutely right. The last thing we need right now is a world that is more chaotic and less secure; where dictators feel emboldened and our allies wonder if they can count on us. Let’s keep moving forward.”

Trump has long been a critic of NATO and European countries who have not lived up to their commitment to spend on defense and military budgets. But under NATO’s Article 5 collective defense clause, if any member state is attacked, it is considered “an armed attack against all members and will take the actions it deems necessary to assist the Ally attacked.”

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said at a press conference on Wednesday that member countries have stepped up their spending, with 18 of the 31 member countries on track to meet their pledge of contributing at least 2 percent of their GDP to defense and military.

Trump’s statement about the most important transatlantic military alliance comes after the Senate passed a $95 billion bill with aid for Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan. Biden encouraged House Republicans to “immediately” take up the bill, although House Speaker Mike Johnson dismissed it because it does not contain border security provisions. Instead, the House will draft up its own legislation.

Over the weekend, Trump also said that foreign aid should come in the form of a loan, and not a grant. At his rally on Wednesday night, Trump compared loaning money and aid to other countries to lending money to professional golfers trying to get their careers off the ground.

On Monday, Trump spoke with a group of senators about his idea. Sen. Lindsey Graham, (R-S.C.), a close ally of Trump, was part of the call and said he supported the idea.