Media Falsely Portrays Trump’s NATO Statements

( – As the poll numbers slide and the negative moments mount, the media is trying to pull attention from Joe Biden and put in on Donald Trump. The former president was speaking at a rally in South Carolina on February 10 and mixed among his remarks was an anecdote he told about NATO and its funding.

Trump began by saying the U.S. has sent over $200 billion to aid Ukraine while the closer European nations have contributed a combined $25 billion. Trump did a sort of reenactment of conversations he had with NATO leadership. He described telling them that the United States was carrying far too much of the financial burden and the European nations needed to start meeting their commitments. He said NATO “was busted,” meaning out of money, when he became president. Trump said the NATO officials asked him for reassurances that, despite other nations not meeting their financial commitments, the United States could be relied on should Russia escalate an aggression. Trump told them he would not assist them.

Trump went on with the story and said the NATO officials were shocked and asked him again and Trump replied “you’re delinquent” and reiterated than he would not assist in a potential Russia fight. He then said jokingly said he would “encourage” Russia to do whatever they wanted and once more told the officials that the other nations need to pay.

Trump said it was after these talks that “money came flowing” into NATO. It was reported at the time of Trump’s presidency that NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg praised him for his leadership and getting billions of dollars to flow into the organization.

After the speech the media ran headlines describing Trump’s desire to abandon NATO and his willingness to encourage Russian aggression. More than one outlet highlighted Trump’s bombastic I’d tell Russia to “do whatever the hell they want” line to frame Trump as encouraging Russian aggression.

Florida Republican Senator Marco Rubio defended Trump’s telling of the story. He said Trump was describing his use of leverage to fortify and help NATO. He said Trump was successful in maneuvering delinquent countries into paying their debts.

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