US Republican presumptive presidential nominee Donald Trump on Thursday said that if elected president on Nov. 8, he would be open to drawing NATO forces into the fight against Islamic State (IS) militants in a new mission for an alliance he has called obsolete.
Trump, who made the comments in an interview with ABC News, has for months raised questions about the money the US pours into NATO, which he says needs to be reconfigured to take account of today’s threats.
“I like the idea of using NATO and also neighbors that aren’t in NATO and take them out. You gotta take them out,” Trump said.
Under US President Barack Obama, the country has relied heavily on US airstrikes to attack Islamic State targets in Syria and Iraq. Republicans have criticized this policy as not enough to stop the militants.
Trump said the idea of using the Cold War-era alliance would be to ease the load on US forces.
“I don’t want to get too much of ours involved. I want NATO to be involved,” Trump said. “We spend a tremendous amount of money on NATO. We take care of countries that frankly should be taking care of themselves in terms of economically.”
Trump’s comments came amid an uproar over a meeting between former US president Bill Clinton and Attorney General Loretta Lynch at a time when Clinton’s wife, Democratic presumptive presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton, is under federal investigation.
The private meeting took place on Lynch’s plane after she landed in Phoenix on Monday night and Bill Clinton was leaving the airport after a rally he held for his wife earlier that day.
Hillary Clinton is under an FBI investigation for her use of a private e-mail server when she was Obama’s first-term secretary of state.
Trump told conservative radio talk show host Mike Gallagher that the meeting was proof of his charge that the US political system is “rigged” in favor of political elites.
“It’s unheard of,” Trump told ABC News. “You have this massive investigation on e-mails and they’d have a meeting like this.”
Lynch, appointed to her position by Obama more than a year ago, said she did not discuss the e-mail investigation or other pending matters before the US Department of Justice with Bill Clinton.
“When I was landing at the airport, I did see [former] president Clinton at the Phoenix airport as I was leaving and he spoke to myself and my husband on the plane,” Lynch told reporters.
“Our conversation was a great deal about grandchildren. It was primarily social and about our travels. He mentioned the golf he played in Phoenix and he mentioned travels he had to West Virginia... But there was no discussion of any matter pending for the department or any matter pending before any other body,” Lynch said.
The FBI is investigating Hillary Clinton about her e-mail use and has already interviewed some of her aides. The probe into whether laws were broken as a result of the server kept in her New York home has overshadowed her campaign.
Obama is preparing to campaign with Hillary Clinton for the first time in her White House bid. They are to appear together in Charlotte, North Carolina, on Tuesday. A Reuters/
Ipsos poll this week showed Clinton 11 points ahead of Trump.
At the White House, spokesman Josh Earnest made clear that Obama believes an impartial investigation is crucial, adding that Lynch had said the conversation was benign.
“I think the bottom line is simply that both the president and the attorney general understand how important it is for the Department of Justice to conduct investigations that are free of political interference,” Earnest told reporters.
POINT-BLANK RANGE: Reporters and camera people from several outlets say police officers in Minneapolis had fired tear gas and rubber bullets directly at them Multiple journalists on the ground in Minnesota said they were teargassed and subject to other attacks by police on Saturday evening, a day after the widely condemned arrest of a CNN reporter live on air. Los Angeles Times journalist Molly Hennessy-Fiske, who was reporting outside the Fifth Precinct in Minneapolis, said she was with a group of about a dozen journalists when the Minnesota State Patrol “fired tear gas canisters on us at point blank range.” “I was saying: ‘Where do we go?’ They did not tell us where to go. They didn’t direct us. They just fired on us,” she said
For nearly a decade, the UN Security Council has been frequently paralyzed by Russia’s obstinacy over the Syrian crisis. Today, however, it is the US-China rivalry that has infected a growing array of issues, according to officials and diplomats. As recently as 2017, an understanding between Washington and Beijing allowed the UN on three occasions — involving separate sets of economic sanctions — to project international unity in the face of the North Korean nuclear threat. Three years later, the COVID-19 pandemic has seen a ferocious competition erupt between the UN’s two main contributors, prompting UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on May
HISTORIC FLIGHT: The astronauts named their capsule ‘Endeavour,’ after the space shuttle on which they both flew, while Elon Musk said he was overcome with emotion Two veteran NASA astronauts headed for the International Space Station (ISS) yesterday after Elon Musk’s SpaceX on Saturday became the first commercial company to launch a rocket carrying humans into orbit, ushering in a new era in space travel. SpaceX’s two-stage Falcon 9 rocket with astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley aboard blasted off flawlessly in a cloud of bright orange flames and smoke from the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, for a 19-hour voyage to the space station. “Let’s light this candle,” Hurley, the mission commander, told SpaceX mission control in Hawthorne, California, before liftoff at 3:22pm from NASA’s
INDIA Pride to be preserved The nation would not let its “pride be hurt” in its latest border flare-ups with China, but is determined to settle the dispute through talks, Minister of Defense Rajnath Singh said in a television interview late on Saturday. “Situations arise with China. It has happened before,” Singh said, adding that the government was striving to make sure “tension does not escalate.” The government has turned down US President Donald Trump’s offer to mediate, he said. IRAN Speaker says talks futile Newly elected Parliament Speaker Mohammad-Bagher Ghalibaf yesterday said that any negotiations with the US would be “futile.” The nation’s