Scaramucci slams Trump’s NATO threats: He’s in ‘love affair’ with Putin
Former Trump communications director Anthony Scaramucci quipped Tuesday that former President Trump is in a “love affair” with Russian President Vladimir Putin following his recent remarks about how he had encouraged Russian aggression toward “delinquent” NATO members.
“He has a love affair with Vladimir Putin, and so I don’t think anybody in the West … Western leadership understands that love affair,” Scaramucci said in a Tuesday interview with CNN. “I don’t think anybody in intelligence agencies understands that love affair because Vladimir Putin has called for objectively reattaching republics to the former Soviet Union.”
Trump, during a weekend rally in South Carolina, told audience members about an instance when an unidentified foreign leader questioned him about his threat not to defend members who do not meet targets for providing funding to the security alliance.
The former president claimed he told the leader he would “encourage” Russia to do whatever it wishes and recounted saying, “You didn’t pay? You’re delinquent.”
Scaramucci on Tuesday pointed to Russia’s war with Ukraine and said the U.S. “has an obligation to the Ukrainians.”
“People are saying, ‘Well, once they get wherever they want in the Ukraine, they will stop,’ but they’re not going to stop,” he said. “OK, and so when Mr. Trump is talking like that … he’s going after the interests of the United States, it is going after the footprint of global peace and prosperity.”
Scaramucci, who served on Trump’s campaign team and in the White House for 11 days before being dismissed by the then-president, reiterated his warning that a second Trump term “would harm the everyday citizen” in America and lead to more wars.
During his presidency, Trump repeatedly pressed member nations to commit 2 percent of their gross domestic product to defense spending and threatened on numerous occasions to withdraw from the alliance.
“Well, he wanted out in 2016; he didn’t like the treaty in 2016,” Scaramucci recounted. “And so he told everybody during the term that if he got reelected, he would do everything he could to pull the U.S. out of NATO and remember, this whole thing with the, ‘you gotta pay sort of thing…’ he doesn’t really understand the treaty. No one’s actually sat down with him to explain the treaty.”
Trump on Monday doubled down on his criticism of the international military alliance and contended it was more robust under his leadership in the White House.
“I MADE NATO STRONG, and even the RINOS and Radical Left Democrats admit that,” Trump wrote Monday in a post on Truth Social. “When I told the 20 Countries that weren’t paying their fair share that they had to PAY UP, and said without doing that you will not have U.S. Military Protection, the money came rolling in.”
“After so many years of the United States picking up the tab, it was a beautiful sight to see. But now, without me there to say YOU MUST PAY, they are at it again,” he added.
His commentary about the alliance has come under scrutiny from various U.S. and top Western officials including President Biden, who called the remarks “appalling and dangerous.”
Stoltenberg argued Trump’s remarks put the safety of U.S. troops and allies at risk, while former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley — Trump’s main GOP challenger — said he should not “take the side of a thug,” in reference to Putin.
Trump has been criticized in the past for his apparent friendliness to foreign dictators. Last year, he claimed he was the “apple of Putin’s eye” during his time in the Oval Office.