- Donald Trump said he had gotten the US out of NATO as president, but meant NAFTA.
- Trump has repeatedly questioned US membership of NATO, but did not act on threats to withdraw.
- NATO forms the main defense against Russian aggression in western Europe.
Former President Donald Trump mistakenly claimed to have withdrawn the US from the NATO security alliance, when he meant to say he withdrawn from the NAFTA trade agreement.
Trump, who is seeking election again in 2024, boasted about his achievements as president in an interview Tuesday with Fox News’ Sean Hannity.
“I made a lot of great deals on trade, though,” said Trump. “I changed a lot of those deals where it was a bad deal for us and now it’s good, like USMCA with NATO.
“I got rid of NATO and built USMCA. I made a great trade deal with China. Our farmers, to this day they made tremendous money because of the deal.”
—Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) March 29, 2023
Hannity did not correct him during the exchange.
Trump apparently intended to refer to the North American Free Trade Agreement, which he withdrew the US from in 2017 as part of his pledge to withdraw US trade policy. He brokered the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement in 2020 to replace it.
NATO is a security coalition made up of 28 European states, plus the US and Canada, which was formed to counter Russian aggression. It has played an important role in supporting Ukraine as it resists the Russian invasion.
Trump as president repeatedly criticised NATO, berating other members for not spending more on defense, and threatened to pull out of the treaty.
At the same time, he has praised Russia’s authoritarian president Vladimir Putin as he waged war in Ukraine and menaced NATO members.
Trump, since launching his 2024 bid, has sought to portray his likely opponent, President Joe Biden, as in cognitive decline.