Donald Trump at the NATO Summit, Brussels, Belgium, July 2018 (Doug Mills/New York Times)
I joined Monocle Radio’s Georgina Godwin on Monday to analyze Donald Trump’s verbal assault on NATO member states, including his invitation to Russia to attack them.
Listen from 10:30:
After a replay of Trump’s remarks on Saturday night in South Carolina — “I would encourage [the Russians] to do whatever the hell they want” — I detail his history from the 1980s of denouncing alliances in Europe and Asia. I evaluate his attempts at President to withdraw the US from NATO, and the likelihood that — having been checked by American agencies from doing so — he will step up the effort from Day 1 of a second Presidency.
I consider what could be done to stop this. I begin with US voters and American media and continue with a call, which I have made since the 1990s, for other countries to organize their security without looking to Washington to take the lead.
It’s absolutely legitimate to raise the issue of NATO countries earmarking 2% of GDP to defense.
What is absolutely not legitimate is to turn that issue into a protection racket. And Donald Trump has now put his protection racket on record: “If you do not pay me, Donald Trump, then the Russians will attack you. And I will let them do it.”