Donald Trump wants the US to abandon NATO because he “hates alliances,” says a former Army general.
Ben Hodges said he thinks Trump is a “mafia type” who “doesn’t want anybody restricting his options.”
“He couldn’t care less about moral obligations. ,” Hodges said.
A former US Army general says Donald Trump’s animosity toward NATO has nothing to do with its members not spending enough on their own defense.
“Trump hates alliances. He hates an obligation where he’d have to live up to something,” retired Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges, a former commander of US Army Europe, told the British newspaper The Times in a story published Monday.
“Mafia type that he is, he doesn’t want anybody restricting his options. He couldn’t care less about moral obligations. He’s willing to chuck the whole thing away,” the retired lieutenant general added.
On Saturday, Trump said at a rally in South Carolina that he’d encourage Russia to do “whatever the hell they want” to NATO members who aren’t meeting their spending obligations.
The former president has received backlash for his remarks on the military alliance. On Saturday night, the White House slammed Trump’s comments, calling them “appalling and unhinged.”
While some GOP officials have downplayed Trump’s remarks as a negotiating tactic, Hodges told The Times that he believed Trump was “absolutely prepared” to abandon Europe if he was elected president again.
“We would be foolish not to take at face value exactly what he says,” Hodges told the newspaper. “In his last term, he did have people around him who were able to moderate certain things, at least for a period of time.”
“He won’t make that mistake again,” Hodges said.
Hodges isn’t the first person to have likened Trump to the mafia.
Trump’s former personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, told The Washington Post in June 2022 that his ex-boss was like a “mob boss.”
Cohen made the remarks after the committee investigating the January 6 Capitol riot alleged that Trump’s allies had intimidated witnesses.
“Donald Trump never changes his playbook. He behaves like a mob boss, and these messages are fashioned in that style,” Cohen told The Post. “Giving an order without giving the order. No fingerprints attached.”
Representatives for Trump and Hodges did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Business Insider sent outside regular business hours.
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