Donald Trump says he wants to fix America's problems before he tackles issues facing other countries, and said he would place conditions on providing U.S. support for its NATO allies.
"I don't think we have a right to lecture," Trump told The New York Times
from his hotel suite in Cleveland Wednesday. "Look at what is happening in our country. How are we going to lecture when people are shooting policemen in cold blood?"
During a 45-minute conversation, Trump "explicitly raised new questions about his commitment to automatically defend NATO allies if they are attacked, saying he would first look at their contributions to the alliance," the Times reported.
"If they fulfill their obligations to us, the answer is yes," he told the Times, then he would approve of U.S. military aid to NATO if they were attacked, for example, by Russia.
It's the first time a major presidential candidate has talked of placing conditions on how the U.S. would defend its allies.
Trump spoke about his "America First"
foreign policy approach with the Times, underscoring his plans to make the U.S. stronger by, for example, forcing allies to pay for their own defenses instead of the U.S. footing much of the bill.
Regarding the situation in Turkey, where government forces squashed an attempted military coup
last weekend, Trump praised Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
"I give great credit to him for being able to turn that around," Trump said. "Some people say that it was staged, you know that. I don't think so."
Trump said his "America First" policy is not the same isolationist view
that dates back before World War II.
"To me, 'America First' is a brand-new, modern term," Trump told the Times. I never related it to the past.
"We are going to take care of this country first before we worry about everyone else in the world."
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