US stays in alliance if European countries treat US “fairly”: Donald Trump

NATO has thanked me profusely, former US President Donald Trump, who is returning to the White House, said in an interview with British station GB News on Tuesday evening. He also announced that the United States would remain in the alliance if European countries “treated the United States fairly.”

In a conversation with Nigel Farage, a leading Brexit advocate and current host of GB News, Trump condemned the “advantage” of EU countries and called for them to pay their fair share of defense spending if they want US support.

“Form of Negotiation”

Asked about his words that the Russians can do whatever they want if these countries don't pay, and that's being used now, Trump responded. – They can use it, I don't care if they use it. Because what I say is a form of negotiation, he said.

– Why do we need to defend these countries that have so much money and America paid for most of NATO? (…) Then they stopped paying again. But now they're paying because of those comments you saw two or three weeks ago. “I don't know if you know, but a lot of money has flown after these comments,” the former US president argued.

Read: Trump on NATO allies: Aren't they paying? Let Russia do as it pleases with them

Trump on the campaign trail in Ohio Mark Lyons/PAB/EPA

Trump recalled early in his presidency telling other NATO leaders that they would pay more for defense, and when one of them asked him if the U.S. would defend if they didn't. They were during the Russian attack.

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– I said, “Does that mean you're behind on your payments? You haven't paid your bills? So no, I won't pay you, we won't do it. We won't cover you if you are. Don't pay your bills. It's that simple.” And hundreds of billions of dollars flowed in, he said in an interview.

– NATO became stronger thanks to me. Now NATO must treat the US fairly, because if it wasn't for the US, there wouldn't even be NATO. The former president argued that they took advantage of us like most countries.

Questions about defense spending by NATO countriesTVN24

Paying your “fair share”.

Are European countries starting to pay their bills properly, “Will places like Poland be protected? Will America be?” To the question, Trump replied: “Yes.”

– But America must pay its fair share, not the fair share of others. I believe the US paid 90 percent of NATO (costs), it could have been 100 percent. It's so unfair, let's not forget that it's more important to them than to us. (…) They will take advantage of it. They used us commercially, they used us militarily, he said.

“If they played fair, would America be there?” When Farage pressed further on that, Trump replied: “Yes, 100 percent.”

Main photo source: Mark Lyons/PAB/EPA

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