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Biden says Trump 'bowed down to a Russian dictator' after remarks on NATO

U.S. President Joe Biden on Tuesday condemned "dumb" and "shameful" comments by Donald Trump saying he would encourage Russia to attack NATO members who failed to meet financial commitments.

Agencies and A News WORLD
Published February 13,2024
U.S. President Joe Biden (AFP Photo)

U.S. President Joe Biden on Tuesday blasted his predecessor Donald Trump for remarks that encouraged Russia to attack any NATO ally that does not pay enough in defense.

"Trump gave an invitation to Putin to invade some of our allies, NATO allies. He said if an ally didn't spend enough money on defense, he would encourage Russia to quote, 'do whatever the hell they want,'" Biden said during a news conference at the White House.

"Can you imagine a former president of the United States saying that? The whole world heard it. The worst thing is, he means it. No other president in our history has ever bowed down to a Russian dictator. Let me say this as clearly as I can, I never will. For God's sake. It's dumb. It's shameful. It's dangerous. It's unAmerican," said Biden.

The president said NATO is built on fundamental principles of freedom, security and national sovereignty, and "for Trump, principles never matter."

"NATO is a sacred commitment. Donald Trump looks at this as if it's a burden. When he looks at NATO, he doesn't see the alliance that protects America and the world," he added.

Trump, who remains the Republican front-runner in the 2024 U.S. presidential race, was widely criticized for the remarks, with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg saying it "undermines all of our security."

The former president made the remarks during a rally in the state of South Carolina on Saturday.

"NATO was busted until I came along. I said, 'Everybody's gonna pay.' They said, 'Well, if we don't pay, are you still going to protect us?' I said, 'Absolutely not.' They couldn't believe the answer," said Trump.

He said "one of the presidents of a big country" once asked him if the U.S. would still defend their country if they were invaded by Russia, even if they did not pay.

"No, I would not protect you. In fact, I would encourage them to do whatever the hell they want. You got to pay. You got to pay your bills," said Trump.