WARSAW, Poland — Donald Trump, the front-runner for the Republican Party's nomination this year, says he once warned that he would allow Russia to do whatever it wants to NATO member nations that are ''delinquent'' in devoting 2% of their gross domestic product to defense.
Trump's comment on Saturday represented the latest instance in which the former president seemed to side with an authoritarian state over America's democratic allies. It also adds to evidence that the 77-year-old either does not understand how NATO works or is distorting the truth for political gain.
WHAT DID TRUMP SAY?
Speaking at a rally in Conway, South Carolina, Trump recalled how as president he told an unidentified NATO member that he would withhold U.S. help and ''encourage'' Russia to do as it wishes with allies that do not contribute enough to military spending.