Biden Rips Trump’s NATO Comments: ‘It’s Un-American’

President Joe Biden on Tuesday harshly condemned Donald Trump for saying he would encourage Russia to do “whatever the hell they want” to NATO allies that don’t meet his standard for providing enough defense spending.

“For God’s sake,” Biden said in brief remarks in the White House’s State Dining Room. “It’s dumb, it’s dangerous, it’s un-American.”

It was perhaps the president’s most direct attack yet on Trump in an official White House setting. Without taking questions, Biden went before the cameras and ripped the GOP presidential front-runner for his comments over the weekend at a South Carolina rally. During that event, Trump outlined a scenario in which he said he would “encourage” Russia to attack other NATO members. He told a story about a past conversation he had with an unnamed world leader.

“One of the presidents of a big country stood up and said, ‘Well sir, if we don’t pay and we’re attacked by Russia, will you protect us?’” Trump said at the rally.

“I said: ‘You didn’t pay? You’re delinquent?’ He said, ‘Yes, let’s say that happened.’ No, I would not protect you. In fact, I would encourage them to do whatever the hell they want.”

Biden appeared disgusted Tuesday.

“Can you imagine? A former president of the United States saying that?” the president said.

“For Trump, principles never matter,” he continued. “Everything is transactional. He doesn’t understand that the sacred commitment we’ve given [to NATO allies] works for us as well.”

Biden said he also wanted to remind Trump that Article 5 — the rule stating that if one NATO ally is attacked, all NATO members consider it an attack on them and will take actions to assist the attacked ally — has only been invoked one time ever. And it was when NATO allies stood by the United States after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

“You can be sure that they all cheered when they heard what Trump said,” Biden said of Russian President Vladimir Putin and other U.S. adversaries. “As long as I’m president, if Putin attacks a NATO ally, the United States will defend every inch of NATO territory.”

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