President Donald Trump’s plan to withdraw from NATO drew mass condemnation on Tuesday as former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and others sharply rebuked reports detailing Trump’s obsession with giving Russian dictator Vladimir Putin the ultimate gift.
NATO has been the foundation of America’s national security strategy for 70 years. The alliance has successfully held back Russian aggression for decades while preventing future world wars. Because of it, we are stronger.
But a new report by the New York Times on Tuesday made it clear that Trump is a threat to the alliance because he repeatedly talked to aides about withdrawing from NATO in 2018, and that makes one wonder even more about exactly what Trump and Putin discussed during their private talks, talks Trump has gone to desperate lengths to keep secret.
On Tuesday morning, CNN asked Clapper about the bombshell report.
“If this was, in fact, a topic of discussion in secret sessions between Putin and President Trump, that’s really terrible,” Clapper began. “Withdrawing from NATO — even discussing withdrawing from NATO — would be disastrous for the security of the United States. This is not about the U.S. just protecting NATO, because the U.S. derives benefit from being forward deployed where our first line of defense is our own shore. This would play into Putin’s hands.”
“This is a primary objective of Putin, to drive wedges between European countries and a wedge between Europe and the United States,” Clapper concluded. “This would be, to me, a real disaster. NATO has been a bulwark for both us and Europe for 70 years.”
Here’s the video via YouTube.
It’s not just Clapper either. Journalists, military leaders, intelligence officers, European officials, and former federal prosecutors all expressed horror over Trump’s idea to withdraw from NATO.
It doesn’t get much worse than this: Trump discussed pulling US out of NATO. https://t.co/wGIuCP48AP
— Carl Bildt (@carlbildt) January 15, 2019
The irony — or tragedy — is that Trump’s annoyance at NATO “ripping the US off” is based on a complete misunderstanding of how the alliance is financed. He keeps saying the same wrong thing he said in the campaign. https://t.co/oHYkb5UJW5
— Glenn Kessler (@GlennKesslerWP) January 15, 2019
There is no greater threat from the Trump presidency than this, and it is deadly serious. The US withdrawal from NATO would reshape our world. I wrote about it here:https://t.co/5rbaFw5Bqw https://t.co/dGwEdxEkJX
— Dan Shapiro (@DanielBShapiro) January 15, 2019
“Trump Discussed Pulling U.S. From NATO.” Dividing those in the NATO alliance is a top Putin strategy, and even the mention delivers on his wildest dreams. How many times can we use the term “jaw dropping?” https://t.co/bO2FZFyqiX
— Mark Hertling (@MarkHertling) January 15, 2019
Don’t let anyone tell you this President is tough on Russia. Destroying NATO, weakening our alliances, attacking the FBI and discounting our intelligence agencies are gifts to Russia (and China) they could have never hoped for. https://t.co/nDpNcQMnFP
— John Sipher (@john_sipher) January 15, 2019
If true: Trump should immediately and publicly state his apparent wish to withdraw from NATO so he can be promptly impeached, convicted, and removed from office.
— Preet Bharara (@PreetBharara) January 15, 2019
Getting the US out of NATO would be a longstanding dream of Vladimir Putin.
Why has @realDonaldTrump acted so many times like he is beholden to Putin?
It should never, ever be a close question whether the President of the United States is a Russian asset. But here we are. https://t.co/Ok0MMFldkH
— Ted Lieu (@tedlieu) January 15, 2019
NATO is a fundamental, essential, proven pillar of our national security architecture. Why is anyone shocked Putin’s gimp @realDonaldTrump pushes Russia’s most beloved dream of wrecking it?
Instead of roaring through the Fulda Gap, Putin bought a President.
— Rick Wilson (@TheRickWilson) January 15, 2019
This new revelation makes the report of the FBI investigating Trump for possibly being a Russian agent even more serious. Republicans must intervene and make it clear that withdrawing from NATO is not an option and would constitute grounds for immediate impeachment. Trump is directly threatening to undermine our national security and pave the way for Russian military aggression against Europe, which could result in World War III. He needs to be stopped before it’s too late.
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