Trump is ranting about other NATO countries not “paying their bills” again. The BBC:
Donald Trump has said he would “encourage” Russia to attack any Nato member that fails to pay its bills as part of the Western military alliance.
At a rally on Saturday, he said he had once told a leader he would not protect a nation behind on its payments, and would “encourage” the aggressors to “do whatever the hell they want”. …
… Addressing crowds during the rally in South Carolina, Mr Trump said he had made his comments about Russia during a meeting of leaders of Nato countries.
He recalled that the leader of a “big country” had presented a hypothetical situation in which he was not meeting his financial obligations within Nato and had come under attack from Moscow.
Mr Trump said the leader had asked if the US would come to his country’s aid in that scenario, which prompted him to issue a rebuke.
“I said: ‘You didn’t pay? You’re delinquent?’… ‘No I would not protect you, in fact I would encourage them to do whatever they want. You gotta pay.'”
He’s been going on about this since he was running for POTUS in 2016. He seems to think that NATO countries pay dues (to whom, I wonder?) and that some countries are behind on their dues. At least he wasn’t claiming these NATO countries owed the U.S. money this time, This is from 2018:
“Many countries owe us a tremendous amount of money from many years back, where they’re delinquent as far as I’m concerned, because the United States has had to pay for them. So if you go back 10 or 20 years, you’ll just add it all up, it’s massive amounts of money is owed.” …
… “There is no ledger that maintains accounts of what countries pay and owe,” says former Obama administration National Security Council staffer Aaron O’Connell. “NATO is not like a club with annual membership fees.”
But it’s obvious that Trump thinks of NATO like a club with membership fees, and he thinks, or at least he thought for awhile, that the U.S. is stuck making up the difference if some countries fall short.
NATO countries make a commitment to spend X percent — 2 percent, I think — of their GDP on defense, which means they’re supposed to be putting that money into their own militaries. They aren’t paying the U.S. They aren’t paying some NATO homeowners association. It’s true that some of the countries may not have reached the commitment, but that’s something NATO countries have to deal with among themselves without threatening to break the alliance over it. Especially now, when most of the world’s economies are struggling a lot more than the U.S. is struggling, and facng higher inflation than we’re facing.
In other news, I’m seeing that Trump has ordered Senate Republicans to not pass foreign aid bills.
Donald Trump spent the weekend telling senators they should not pass more unconditional U.S. foreign aid. More than a dozen Republicans ignored him Sunday, moving forward on a bill to send $95 billion in aid to Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan.
The Senate voted 67-27 to advance the foreign aid supplemental spending bill that doesn’t include border provisions, moving it another step closer to passage. That still isn’t guaranteed, as leaders haven’t yet reached an agreement on GOP-demanded border amendments. …
… “From this point forward, are you listening U.S. Senate (?),” Trump wrote on Truth Social. “No money in the form of foreign aid should be given to any country unless it is done as a loan, not just a giveaway.”
He doesn’t grasp that most of the time, “foreign aid” serves U.S. interest in some way. It’s not doled out just because of the goodness in our hearts. The only “interest” Trump understands is money. He thinks the U.S. should be a for-profit enterprise, I guess. But the only way Trump knows how to make a profit is to cheat on his taxes.