Donald Trump warns Europe that US ‘will never come to help’ them - Hindustan Times
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Donald Trump warns Europe that US ‘will never come to help’ them if they are under attack

Jan 11, 2024 07:04 AM IST

European commissioner discloses alarming statements made by Donald Trump in 2020, signaling potential abandonment of Europe in case of attack.

A senior European commissioner revealed that former US President Donald Trump had made alarming statements to the president of the European Commission in 2020, implying that the US would abandon Europe in case of an attack and that NATO was obsolete.

FILE PHOTO: Former U.S. President and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump campaigns, in Clinton, Iowa, U.S., January 6, 2024. REUTERS/Cheney Orr/File Photo(REUTERS)
FILE PHOTO: Former U.S. President and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump campaigns, in Clinton, Iowa, U.S., January 6, 2024. REUTERS/Cheney Orr/File Photo(REUTERS)

Thierry Breton, a French European commissioner in charge of the internal market, which includes defence, recounted the conversation between Trump and Ursula von der Leyen at the European parliament on Tuesday. He said he had heard it from multiple news sources.

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Breton quoted Trump as saying to Von der Leyen, who was then Germany’s defence minister, at the World Economic Forum in Davos in 2020, “You need to understand that if Europe is under attack we will never come to help you and to support you.”

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‘Nato is dead’: Trump

He also said that Trump had declared, “By the way, Nato is dead, and we will leave, we will quit Nato.”

The Jerusalem Post reported that Trump had added, “And by the way, you owe me $400bn, because you didn’t pay, you Germans, what you had to pay for defence.”

Von der Leyen was one of the European leaders who resisted Trump’s pressure to increase their defence spending and contributions to NATO.

Trump’s hostility towards NATO and his apparent deference to Vladimir Putin, the Russian president, raised serious concerns about his foreign policy and his commitment to the transatlantic alliance.

The former president claimed that he understood Putin and that he had waited for him to leave office before launching an invasion of Ukraine.

Breton said that Trump’s 2020 remarks were “a big wake-up call” and warned,“He may come back.”

Trump is running for the Republican presidential nomination again, despite facing 91 criminal charges, legal challenges to block his candidacy and various civil lawsuits. He is leading the polls among Republican voters, ahead of his main rivals: Ron DeSantis, the ultra-conservative governor of Florida, and Nikki Haley, a former governor of South Carolina and UN ambassador.

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The polls also show a tight race between Trump and Joe Biden, the Democratic incumbent, in a hypothetical general election, with Trump often ahead.

“Now more than ever, we know that we are on our own, of course,” Breton said, according to Politico.

“We are a member of Nato, almost all of us, of course we have allies, but we have no other options but to increase drastically [spending on arms] in order to be ready [for] whatever happens.”

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