All Trump Did Was Empower Putin: Haley on NATO Remarks

Haley’s comments followed the death of Russian opposition leader and outspoken Kremlin critic Alexey Navalny while in prison on Friday….reports Asian Lite News

Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley slammed former President Donald Trump over his recent comments on NATO, and accused him of ’empowering’ Russian President Vladimir Putin, CNN reported.

“When you hear Donald Trump say in South Carolina a week ago that he would encourage Putin to invade our allies if they weren’t pulling their weight, that’s bone-chilling because all he did in that one moment was empower Putin,” Haley said Sunday on ABC’s ‘This Week.’

Haley’s remarks come after Trump said on February 10 that he would encourage Russia to do “whatever the hell they want” to any NATO member country that doesn’t meet spending guidelines on defence.

This was a stunning admission that he would not abide by the collective defence clause at the heart of the alliance if re-elected, as reported by CNN.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and then US President Donald Trump at the 2017 G20 Hamburg Summit

“NATO was busted until I came along,” Trump said at a rally in Conway, South Carolina, Haley’s home state. “I said, ‘Everybody’s gonna pay.’ They said, ‘Well, if we don’t pay, are you still going to protect us?’ I said, ‘Absolutely not.’ They couldn’t believe the answer.”

Haley’s comments followed the death of Russian opposition leader and outspoken Kremlin critic Alexey Navalny while in prison on Friday.

Although the cause of his reported death remained unclear, the news has drawn forceful reactions from Western leaders, including President Joe Biden, who pinned the blame on Putin, saying that “what has happened to Navalny is yet more proof of Putin’s brutality.”

Trump has declined to address Navalny’s death directly. On being asked, the Trump campaign pointed to a post on Truth Social from the former president that did not mention Navalny or Putin and instead bashed Biden and asserted, “America is no longer respected.”

Haley on Sunday continued to pile on the criticism of Trump and his supposed support for Putin.

“He sided with a guy that kills his political opponents. He sided with a thug that arrests American journalists and holds them hostage, and he sided with a guy who wanted to make a point to the Russian people, ‘Don’t challenge me in the next election or this will happen to you too,'” Haley said.

The former UN ambassador also highlighted Trump’s recent legal woes on Saturday, claiming the reason he may not have spoken about Navalny’s death is because “he’s distracted.”

“He may not be saying anything because he’s distracted because of his court cases. That’s a very big possibility. There’s a lot of them. We know he said he’s going to be spending more time in the courtroom than he’s going to be spending on the campaign trail,” Haley said at a campaign stop in Irmo, South Carolina, a week ahead of the state’s GOP primary.

Haley’s comments came a day after Trump was fined USD 355 million in his New York civil fraud trial. The former president was also recently ordered in a defamation case to pay USD 83 million to Jean Carroll, and he faces four criminal indictments, according to CNN.

Meanwhile, Trump and Haley are supposed to face off next week at the South Carolina GOP primary, where the former president will come riding on two huge wins in Iowa and New Hampshire, and the former governor will have to show her mettle in the state, where she once served as the governor. (ANI)

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