Ukraine could ‘drop us like a dog’, Trump warns
Former US president Donald Trump has rallied against continued support for Ukraine, citing the NATO-led proxy war against Russia as a liability for Washington as Kiev has the potential to “drop us like a dog.”
The Republican hopeful, who was addressing supporters at a “Get Out the Vote” rally in Conway, South Carolina, on Saturday, slammed a proposed $118 billion security bill, $60 billion of which is earmarked for Ukraine.
For months, Congress has been trying to approve the bill amid opposition from far-right Republicans, who want to see more done to address the crisis on America’s southern border.
“They want to give like almost $100 billion to a few countries… I said why do we do this? You give it to them as a loan,” Trump said to the crowd at the rally.
He contended that the money might not be paid back; however, he suggested that if the recipients “go to another nation” and “drop us like a dog,” then the US could “simply… call the loan.”
He said Ukraine “could make a deal with Russia in the next three weeks and all of a sudden they don’t want to deal with us anymore.”
The former president described Washington’s current relations with Kiev as tense, saying it reminded him of his often strained relationship with Washington’s NATO allies in Europe during the period he was in office as US president. “I did the same thing with NATO. I got them to pay up… NATO was busted until I came along.”
He said an unnamed NATO country had asked him whether Washington would protect them if they did not increase their share of military spending and were attacked by Russia, he replied in the negative. “I said you didn’t pay, you’re delinquent… No, I would not protect you. In fact, I would encourage them to do whatever the hell they want. You got to pay your bills.”
Trump claimed that after this dialog between them, the money “came flowing in” from NATO member states. However, White House spokesman Andrew Bates criticized Trump over his offensive remarks about NATO. He compared forcing countries to pay up to gain Washington’s protection or face “invasions” to extortion. “Encouraging invasions of our closest allies by murderous regimes is appalling and unhinged,” he stated.