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Would Trump pull out of NATO if reelected?

Would Trump pull out of NATO if reelected?

Democrats and their media cronies keep claiming that President Trump would take the United States out of NATO if reelected.  They enhance their mendacious narrative with the scurrilously claim that he would do so as a favor to Russian President Putin.  The claim may be an effective political narrative, but the only problem is that it appears to be untrue.

I did my best to search of the Internet for the quote in which Trump said he would pull out of NATO.  I could not find one.  In desperation, I turned to AI to see if it could find such a quote.  According to Ai, “President Donald Trump has not explicitly stated that he would pull the United States out of NATO.” 

So … All the repeated claims by Democrats are untrue.  They are lies.  Trump never said he would pull the United States out of NATO … period.  He may have used threatening language as a means of getting the other member nations to pay their fair share.

In a secondary deceptive narrative, those on the left claim that Trump said that Putin could do whatever he wants regarding NATO.  Not so.  That comment is taken out of context.  Trump was referring ONLY to NATO nations that are not living up to their financial responsibility to fund the Alliance.  It was his Trump-style means to pressuring for increased funding.

One can criticize Trump’s pugnacious and over-the-top threatening talk about NATO.  But it is not accurate to mispresent what he said and meant.  He is not grousing about NATO as an alliance, but about too many members shirking their financial obligations.

One of Trump’s most consistent positions is that too many NATO nations are not living up to their pledged financial support for the Alliance with 2 percent of their GNP – relying on the United States to carry a disproportionate burden.  Only 11 of the now-32 NATO nations currently meet or exceed that commitment.

He underscores his position by noting that it is the European nations that need the defense treaty as a bulwark against Russia more than the United States – which is far from Russia and has sufficient assets for self-defense.

Conversely, Trump cast a vote for the inclusion of North Macedonia and Montenegro into the Alliance during his term in office.  They are small nations, but the expansion at the time infuriated Putin.    While the admission of Sweden and Finland to NATO occurred on President Biden’s watch – and largely in response to Putin’s invasion of Ukraine – Trump is not on record as opposing those expansion.

Virtually all of Trump’s statements that are claimed to be anti-NATO focus exclusively on the failure of member nations to adequately fund the Alliance.  Since that would strengthen NATO, it appears that Trump is not trying to weaken or abolish NATO as a threat to Putin’s aggressive instincts, but rather to make NATO stronger. 

On a number of occasions NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg expressed agreement with Trump — that member nations must increase their contribution to meet the 2 percent GNP requirement.  In February 2024, Stoltenberg said, “we are making real progress: European Allies are spending more. However, some Allies still have a way to go. Because we agreed at the Vilnius Summit that all Allies should invest 2%, and that 2% is a minimum.”  Just like Trump says.

The Democrats’ spin on Trump and NATO is just that.  No matter how maladroitly or threateningly Trump may have expressed his opinion (and that is a problem), he has never called for pulling out of NATO.  All the harsh language was to pressure members to meet their financial commitments   And Trump’s only real actions have been to support a stronger NATO by increased funding and the addition of new members. 

And for those who still irrationally cling to Democrats’ fearmongering campaign narrative, keep in mind that NATO is a treaty – and a President cannot break a treaty by executive action.

My personal answer (opinion) to the headline question is “no.”  I do not believe Trump  would take the United States out of NATO.

So, there ‘tis.

About The Author

Larry Horist

So,there‘tis… The opinions, perspectives and analyses of Larry Horist Larry Horist is a businessman, conservative writer and political strategist with an extensive background in economics and public policy. Clients of his consulting firm have included such conservative icons as Steve Forbes and Milton Friedman. He has served as a consultant to the Nixon White House and travelled the country as a spokesman for President Reagan’s economic reforms. He has testified as an expert witness before numerous legislative bodies, including the U. S. Congress. Horist has lectured and taught courses at numerous colleges and universities, including Harvard, Northwestern, DePaul universities, Hope College and his alma mater, Knox College. He has been a guest on hundreds of public affairs talk shows, and hosted his own program, “Chicago In Sight,” on WIND radio. Horist was a one-time candidate for mayor of Chicago and served as Executive Director of the City Club of Chicago, where he led a successful two-year campaign to save the historic Chicago Theatre from the wrecking ball. An award-winning debater, his insightful and sometimes controversial commentaries appear frequently on the editorial pages of newspapers across the nation. He is praised by readers for his style, substance and sense of humor. According to one reader, Horist is the “new Charles Krauthammer.” He is actively semi-retired in Boca Raton, Florida where he devotes his time to writing. So, there ‘tis is Horist’s signature sign off.