Trump Riles Crit­ics With Anec­dote About NATO Spend­ing Nego­ti­a­tions

Trump Riles Critics With Anecdote About NATO Spending Negotiations

For­mer Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump stirred con­tro­ver­sy on Sat­ur­day as he revived a long-run­ning cri­tique of NATO over how much its mem­ber nations con­tribute finan­cial­ly to the alliance, allud­ing to his hard­ball nego­ti­a­tion tac­tics with oth­er world lead­ers on the sub­ject.
Dur­ing an event in South Car­oli­na, Trump spoke of how NATO, which has a 2% min­i­mum GDP defense invest­ment guide­line for mem­bers, was “bust­ed” until he got allied coun­tries to increase their spend­ing under pres­sure to do more to assist the Unit­ed States in prop­ping up the col­lec­tive.
“One of the pres­i­dents of a big coun­try stood up and 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 the hell they want. You got­ta pay,” Trump said.

Don­ald Trum …