Bolton Book: Trump Wanted to Exit NATO Over Nord Stream 2, Spending Gaps

US

Trump has repeatedly criticised NATO members for spending much less on defence than they had committed to, and bashed the European Union for participating in the Russian-led Nord Stream 2 pipeline project.

Donald Trump contemplated leaving NATO because of Germany’s support for Nord Stream 2, his former adviser John Bolton writes in the just-released memoir, titled The Room Where It Happened.

The US president told Bolton during a July 2018 summit of NATO leaders that he would quit the alliance should Germany press ahead with the deal and should allies fail to meet their spending commitments, according to the book. He reportedly broached the idea more than once in private conversations with aides.

“By January one, all nations must commit to two percent [of their GDP on defence spending], and we will forgive arrears, or we will walk out, and not defend those who have not,” said Trump’s planned announcement, as detailed in the memoir.

Bolton, in his words, cooperated with Secretary of State Pompeo and advised Trump not to drop this bombshell. His main argument was that this decision would divide Republicans in Congress, and they were not in a position to do that because of the ongoing battle for Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination.

Trump appeared to be still considering the idea minutes before the start of a dinner with NATO heads of state. “Are we going to do it?” he purportedly asked Bolton,…

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