Biden slams Trump's 'appalling and dangerous' NATO comments

U.S. President Joe Biden slammed as "appalling and dangerous" comments by Donald Trump downplaying his commitment to NATO, warning Sunday that the former president intends to give Russian leader Vladimir Putin "a greenlight for more war and violence."

Biden spoke after Trump said in a speech Saturday that he would "encourage" Russia to attack members of NATO who had not met their financial obligations, his most extreme broadside against the military alliance he has long expressed skepticism about.

Those comments, at a campaign rally in South Carolina, prompted stark warnings at home and abroad that he was putting the military alliance in peril, renewing doubts over the U.S. commitment to the mutual defense treaty if the former president and current Republican frontrunner wins in November.

"Donald Trump's admission that he intends to give Putin a greenlight for more war and violence, to continue his brutal assault against a free Ukraine, and to expand his aggression to the people of Poland and the Baltic States are appalling and dangerous," Biden said in a statement.

Trump had described what he said was a conversation with a fellow head of state at an unspecified NATO meeting.

"One of the presidents of a big country stood up and said, 'Well, sir, if we don't pay, and we're attacked by Russia, will you protect us?' I said, 'You didn't pay, you're delinquent?'"

"No, I would not protect you. In fact, I would encourage them to do whatever the hell they want."

Trump has regularly criticized allies of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization for not meeting a goal of spending at least two percent of GDP on defense.

"You got to pay. You got to pay your bills," Trump, who is almost certain to be the Republican nominee...

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