President Donald Trump said Thursday that the United States is “100 percent” in support of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization following a report that he has considered pulling out of the agreement.
"We're gonna be with NATO 100 percent, but as I told the countries, 'You have to step up and you have to pay,'" Trump said during remarks at the Pentagon, according to Politico.
The New York Times reported earlier this week that Trump, who frequently criticizes NATO allies as not contributing enough to military spending, has senior administration officials concerned that he will withdraw the U.S. from NATO. Unnamed officials told the Times that Trump has raised the idea multiple times over the past year.
"This year, we will also have a good year. They are starting to step up," Trump added.
"We have very good relationships," he said, referring to NATO allies. "But countries are now stepping up, and they can well afford to."
Should Trump withdraw the U.S. from NATO, “It would destroy 70-plus years of painstaking work across multiple administrations, Republican and Democratic, to create perhaps the most powerful and advantageous alliance in history,” according to former under secretary of defense Michèle A. Flournoy. “And it would be the wildest success that [Russian President] Vladimir Putin could dream of.”
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