Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) on Sunday dismissed former President Trump’s remarks on NATO, saying he’s confident he knows what Trump will do when it comes to alliance should he win the White House again.
Rubio attempted to defend Trump’s comments at a rally on Saturday, where the former president said he warned a foreign leader that if that country didn’t contribute enough to the alliance, then Russia can “do whatever the hell they want.” Trump has long expressed his grievance at countries that do not contribute their fair share to NATO, which Rubio said is a complaint other former presidents had as well.
“He’s not the first American president — in fact, virtually every American president at some point in some way has complained about other countries in NATO not doing enough,” Rubio said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
“You know, Trump’s just the first one to express it in these terms, but I have zero concern because he’d been president before, I know exactly what he has done and will do with the NATO alliance, but there has to be an alliance. It’s not America’s defense with a bunch of small junior partners,” Rubio, who sits on the Senate Foreign Relations and Intelligence committees, said.
Rubio also emphasized that Trump did not pull out of NATO, despite the former president repeatedly criticizing it during his time in office.
Trump controversial remarks during the rally in South Carolina on Saturday raised eyebrows for appearing to side with Russia over a NATO ally.
“One of the presidents of a big country stood up, said, “Well, sir, if we don’t pay and we’re attacked by Russia, will you protect us?’” Trump said at the rally.
‘You didn’t pay? You’re delinquent?’” Trump said at the rally. “‘No I would not protect you. In fact, I would encourage them to do whatever the hell they want. You gotta pay. You gotta pay your bills.’”
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