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President Donald Trump completed a full 180-degree turn Wednesday regarding his position on the NATO alliance during a joint press conference from the White House alongside NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.
“I said it was obsolete,” Trump said of his past statements about the transatlantic alliance. “It’s no longer obsolete.”
Trump complained throughout the campaign that alliance didn’t focus enough on terrorism and that member states were not paying their fair share.
As recently as January, Trump called the alliance “obsolete.”
In an interview with the German newspaper Bild, Trump said NATO was obsolete because “it was designed many, many years ago.”
“Secondly, countries aren’t paying what they should,” he said, adding that the alliance “didn’t deal with terrorism.”
During the campaign, Trump said he would consider whether NATO countries had “fulfilled their obligations to us” – in terms of payments – prior to deciding whether or not the US would defend them if attacked.
On Tuesday, the Trump administration signaled its support of Montenegro’s addition into NATO.