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New York Times: Trump has spoken several times in 2018 in private talks about the US withdrawal from NATO

Editing Office - Geneva 

US President Donald Trump has questioned a possible US retreat from NATO several times in 2018 in private talks, which would equate to the destruction of the Alliance, the New York Times reported on Tuesday. donald trump getty New York Times: reports Tuesday that Donald Trump spoke several times in 2018 in private talks about US withdrawal from NATO. Photo: Guliver / GettyImages "There are few things Russian President Vladimir Putin wants more than weakening NATO, the military alliance in the US, Europe and Canada that has discouraged Soviet and Russian aggression over the past 70 years," the New York Times notes . Last year, President Trump suggested a movement equivalent to the destruction of NATO: the withdrawal of the United States. Major US administration officials have told the New York Times that, many times, during 2018, Donald Trump said in private talks he wants to withdraw the US from NATO. Current and former officials supporting the military alliance have said they were afraid that Donald Trump could bring this threat back on track because NATO's military spending continues to fall short of the expectations of the White House leader, according to the US daily. Around the days of a tumultuous NATO summit last year, Trump told his national security advisers that he did not see the idea of a military alliance, which he described as "a leak of funds" for the US . The US daily also notes that at the time, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and National Security Adviser John R. Bolton have been struggling to keep American strategy on track, not to mention a US retreat from NATO, what what would mean a decrease in Washington's influence in Europe and an encouragement of the Russian one. But now, Donald Trump's repeated assertions about a retreat worry the officials. "It would be one of the most damaging things any president could bring to the interests of the US," said Michele Flournoy, deputy secretary of defense during Barack Obama's term. "It would destroy 70 years of thorough work under a number of republican and democratic administrations to create probably the most powerful and advantageous alliance in history. And it would be the wildest success Vladimir Putin could dream of, "he added. On the other hand, Admiral James G. Stavridis, former NATO supreme commander, said the US withdrawal from the Alliance would be "a geopolitical mistake of epic proportions." "Only discussing the idea of leaving NATO would be the gift of the century for Putin," Admiral Stavridis said. The New York Times cites important officials in the field, who say that Russia has focused on undermining solidarity between the US and Europe after annexing the Crimea in 2014. 

Tags: USA , Russia , NATO , donald trump

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