Graham Exposes Trump’s Lies as He Reveals the Truth about NATO and Russia

by Jessica
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According to a report by TheHill on Sunday, February 18, 2024, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) expressed his agreement with former President Donald Trump’s demand for NATO members to pay more for their defense, but distanced himself from Trump’s implied threat of allowing Russia to invade non-paying allies.

Graham made his remarks on CBS’s “Face the Nation” on Sunday, where he praised Trump for pushing NATO members to meet their obligation of spending 2% of their GDP on defense, a goal that only half of the 31-member alliance is expected to achieve by 2024.

“I want to have a system where if you don’t pay, you get kicked out. But no, I’m not inviting Russia to invade Ukraine,” Graham said. “President Trump is right to want NATO nations to meet their obligation of 2%.”

Graham added that he was a “big fan of NATO”, but there was “$70-80 billion left on the table” by non-paying members.

“We need to turn it into an obligation that means something. If you’re in NATO, pay the 2%,” he said.

Graham’s comments came after Trump reiterated his controversial stance on NATO at a campaign rally in Conway, South Carolina, on Saturday.

Trump claimed that he had told a foreign leader, presumably from a NATO country, that if they did not pay their dues, then Russia could “do whatever the hell they want” with them.

Trump’s remarks were widely condemned by Democrats and some Republicans, who accused him of undermining the alliance’s core principle of collective defense and emboldening Russian President Vladimir Putin’s aggression in Eastern Europe.

“Donald Trump’s admission that he intends to give Putin a greenlight for more war and violence, to continue his brutal assault against a free Ukraine, and to expand his aggression to the people of Poland and the Baltic States are appalling and dangerous,” Graham said in a statement.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who spoke at the Munich Security Conference on Saturday, also warned that Trump could pull the U.S. out of NATO if he won a second term in 2024. “He will pull us out of NATO,” Clinton said.

However, some Republicans defended Trump’s position, arguing that he was right to pressure NATO members to contribute more and that he was not serious about letting Russia invade them.

“I think he was joking,” Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) said on ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday. “I think he was having fun with them.”

Trump has been a vocal critic of NATO since his 2016 campaign, calling it “obsolete” and “unfair” to the U.S.

He has repeatedly questioned the U.S. commitment to defend NATO allies, especially those who do not meet the 2% target.

Trump’s views on NATO have also strained the U.S. relations with some of its closest allies, such as Germany and France, who have called for more European autonomy and less dependence on the U.S. for security.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg has tried to maintain the unity and credibility of the alliance, despite Trump’s challenges.

He has credited Trump for increasing the defense spending of NATO members and strengthening the deterrence against Russia.

Stoltenberg has also reaffirmed the importance of the U.S. leadership and involvement in NATO, saying that “the U.S. needs friends and allies” and that “NATO is good for both Europe and North America.”

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