Donald Trump

Trump Wouldn't Lecture Turkey, Gives Foreign Policy Interview on Eve of Acceptance Speech

Also talks re-evaluating NATO, NAFTA.


Richard Ellis/ZUMA Press/Newscom

Donald Trump would re-evaluate United States obligations to NATO, re-negotiate NAFTA (saying he would pull out "in a split second" if he didn't get a better deal), and re-think other overseas commitments, he told The New York Times. Trump also challenged the idea that the U.S. should lecture other countries—specifically Turkey as the government of Recep Erdogan cracks down in the aftermath of a failed coup.

"I give great credit to him for being able to turn that around," Trump said. "Some people say that it was staged, you know that. I don't think so." The times admits that while the Obama administration has released statements on Erdogan's crackdown, they have not exerted any actual pressure to stop it.

"When the world sees how bad the United States is and we start talking about civil liberties, I don't think we are a very good messenger," he said.

While he told the times he'd "prefer to be able to continue" arrangements like NATO, there would be a re-evaluation, but possibly not until something comes up. Asked whether the U.S. would come to the aid of the Baltic states if they were attacked by Russia, Trump offered that it would depend on whether they'd "fulfilled their obligation" to the United States. "If they fulfill their obligations to us, the answer is yes."

Trump first started talking about NATO in March, when he called it "obsolete." Even then, he said he didn't mind NATO "per se." There are strong argument to be made that America would be stronger and richer if Europe were to pay for its own defenses, but the time to evaluate the alliance is at the beginning of a term, not when treaty obligations kick in. Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort told CNN Trump had been misquoted.

The Times apparently compared Trump to Richard Nixon, known as a law and order candidate who also had an active foreign plicy, in 1968. "This is not 40 years ago," Trump told The Times. "We are spending a fortune on military in order to lose $800 billion. That doesn't sound very smart to me." According to The Times, Trump maintained a hands off approach on North Korea as well as China's disputes in the South China Sea, suggesting if it were necessary military assets could be deployed from the mainland, which would be "a lot less expensive."

Trump characterized Syrian dictator Bashar Assad a "bad man" who had "done horrible things," but prioritized ISIS as what The Times called "a far greater threat to the United States." Trump also bemoaned "obsolete weapons" in the U.S. stockpile. "We have nuclear that we don't even know if it works."

The Times article came out just a few hours after Republican vice presidential nominee Mike Pence promised delegates Trump would be hewing to the party line on interventionism-as-American-leadership. "America needs to be strong for the world to be safe," Pence said, "and on the world stage Donald Trump will lead from strength."

Previously: The Republicans' foreign policy platform plank.

NEXT: Don King Likes Libertarianism, Can't Explain Why. He Also Says He Was Asked to Speak at RNC Tonight But Refused

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  1. “We have nuclear that we don’t even know if it works.” Trump said. “It’s about time we found out,” he added.

    1. You run outside and bang your morning wood on your hood, while belting out some howl that lets the ladies know you’re up and about in the neighborhood. There she stood, with her eyes on your manhood, as she tells you to get inside and make her feel all kinds of good. You both know you really should, so you waste no time, rush inside and rock her world like she knew you could.

      That’s for you Chipper morning wood.

      1. You run outside and bang your morning wood on your hood, while belting out some howl that lets the ladies know you’re up and about in the neighborhood.

        I’d be careful waving wood around here. Many woodchippers in these parts. Ask Preet.

  2. We must bring out the battleship! All four of them could go in the slip. A must equip is scramjet that could pinpoint the enemy’s lip, or even kim jongs potato chip. There it is, the radar blip, time to empty this turret’s 2700 lb arsenal clip.

  3. Yes, first lets get rid of our military commitments, then cut spending.

    Then once the warfare dependents lose their money stream they no longer have a reason to make a deal with the welfare dependents and so we can start cutting that as well. Both the welfare/warfare for the poor and the rich

    1. Seems the Big Tizzy out in the MSM over this is Trump suggesting that we’ll fulfill our obligations to those who have fulfilled their obligations to us.

      Just crazy talk! Only keeping your side of the bargain if the other guy keeps his. Only Hitler acts like that!

  4. I’m sure there’s a point to this article, but it’s eluding me.

    1. Worse than Hitler?

      1. The point of all Trump articles at Reason. Bang that drum!

    2. The point the article intended to make was that Reason did the right thing firing its proofreaders to save some dough. Unfortunately it proved the opposite.

    3. I think the point is Ed had a great idea for Alt-Text and needed to post something to give him an excuse to use it.

      Coincidentally, I watched Who’s Line last night instead of the news because I figured it would non-stop “RNC this, RNC that, Trump is TEH DEVUL blah, blah, blah.” When did they switch from Drew Carey to Aisha Tyler as the host? And Wayne Brady, Ryan Stiles and Colin Mockrie better pray that show never gets canceled because their careers would be over.

  5. Reevaluate our entangling alliances, make the Europeans pay for their own defense, and not (arguably) needlessly stir the pot with China?

    The man’s a maniac!!!

  6. Trump would be hewing to the party line on interventionism-as-American-leadership. “America needs to be strong for the world to be safe,” Pence said, “and on the world stage Donald Trump will lead from strength.”

    Strong is not equivalent to Interventionist.

  7. When Trump talks foreign policy, it’s one of the few times when I listen to him and don’t want to throw up.

  8. he shouldn`t lecture us indeed.

  9. I like everything he says there

    1. I’m surprised H&R even documented it.

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  11. When what you have been doing for decades has proven to be less-than-right, you should do more of it because Einstein’s definition of Insanity was incorrect.

  12. Yeah, this kind of thing is one of the reasons I’m probably going to vote for him if the race in my state is at all close between him and Hillary (otherwise I’ll probably vote Johnson, pretty much purely on “team” rather than the guy).

    He generally seems to have decent insticts on things, and is willing to explore upending long term things that don’t seem to be working properly.Its something of a coin flip if what his solution is will improve things, but at least he seems willing to explore changing things that need changing. Unlike Hillary who seems to be dedicated to doubling down on all our current bad ideas.

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