As Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy pleaded with Congress Wednesday morning to do more to help Ukraine fight against Russia, former President Donald Trump issued a statement lamenting how he had not received credit for rebuilding "a floundering NATO."
"People forget so quickly, with the help of the Fake News, that it was me that got the 20 out of 28 delinquent NATO countries to start paying the money that they owed in order to rebuild a floundering NATO," Trump said.
"Nobody knew things would happen so rapidly, but NATO was poor and now it is rich, and all of the Fake News commentators that said Trump was tearing down NATO should be ashamed of themselves for telling lies."
Trump continued: "Not only was the United States being taken advantage of by the EU on trade, but it was forced to pay the costs of the many delinquent NATO countries. Bush and Obama did nothing but make speeches and talk — I acted, and acted strongly.
"I said to them, 'If you don’t pay up, no protection.' They all paid up, and paid up quickly. It’s a story that’s never reported, but that’s only because we have a corrupt press in our Country!"
A 2019 analysis by The Washington Post states that Trump "consistently misunderstands NATO financing."
The news outlet reported that in 2006, NATO instituted the guideline that member states should spend 2% of their GDP on defense — indirectly funding the alliance via member states spending funds to improve their own defense.
In 2014, three years before Trump was inaugurated, members pledged to meet the 2% goal by 2024.
Trump "persistently claims credit for actions that were underway before he became president — and consistently misleads about where NATO funding was headed before he became president," The Post stated in 2019.
Top ministers from Latvia, Estonia, and Lithuania told Newsweek in October that Trump’s time in office left the trans-Atlantic alliance stronger.
"When it comes to decisions taken during the Trump administration in NATO, it had — at least here in this part of the world — a positive effect," Latvian Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics told Newsweek at the time.
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