During a joint news conference with Romanian President Klaus Iohannis on Friday, President Trump recommitted the U.S. to the NATO collective defense provision, which requires that each member of the alliance defend each other if they come under attack.
“Well, I’m committing the United States, and have committed, but I’m committing the United States to Article 5,” Trump stated in response to a question from a Romanian reporter.
While Trump visited the NATO headquarters last month in Brussels, he failed to mention during his speech whether the U.S. supports the NATO defense provision, known as Article 5, and instead took the opportunity to remind members they need to pay more for the alliance’s defense.
Some of his national security team members were reportedly dismayed that the segment to reaffirm his support for the NATO charter was removed from his speech at the last minute, however, White House officials argued that Trump’s appearance at the event was further proof of his commitment to Article 5.
Vice President Mike Pence later clarified that the U.S. does, in fact, explicit support the mutual defense pact, reports Politico.
“I’m committing the United States to Article 5 and certainly we are there to protect and that’s one of the reasons that I want people to make sure we have a very, very strong force by paying the kind of money necessary to have that force,” Trump publicly announced in his speech on Friday. “But yes, absolutely I’d be committed to Article 5,” he said.
— Reuters Top News (@Reuters) June 9, 2017
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