Trump Criticizes Russia, Calls for Country to ‘Cease its Destabilizing Activities’
President Donald Trump delivered a speech before a large crowd in Poland on Thursday, lauding the NATO alliance and badgering Russia for its interference in other countries and “support for hostile regimes.”
Trump first noted that Poland’s “victory over communism” was supported by a “strong alliance in the West that defied tyranny.”
“Now among the most committed members of the NATO alliance, Poland has resumed its place as a leading nation of a Europe that is strong, whole and free,” sounding less like campaign-Trump and more like a Brussels bureaucrat.
Trump then praised the “transatlantic bond between the United States and Europe,” calling it “strong as ever, and maybe, in many ways, even stronger,” before noting that in the West we face “dire threats to our security.”
The president addressed the threat of terrorism, noting that “our borders will always be closed to terrorism and extremism of any kind” — a comment met with chants of “Donald Trump” from the rapturous crowd.
“Today, the West is also confronted by the powers that seek to test our will, undermine our confidence and challenge our interests,” he continued, his remarks starting to sound like a jab at the Kremlin. “To meet new forms of aggression, including propaganda, financial crimes and cyber warfare, we must adapt our alliance to compete effectively, in new ways and on new battlefields.”
Trump then aimed at Russia explicitly: “we urge Russia to cease its destabilizing activities in Ukraine and elsewhere, and its support for hostile regimes, including Syria and Iran. And to instead join the community of responsible nations in our fight against common enemies and in defense of civilization itself.”
The comments from Trump, who has maintained since launching his presidential bid a hostile view of the NATO alliance and a eyebrow-raising coziness with Russia, are quite the stunning pivot towards American foreign policy orthodoxy.
Trump gave his remarks before a crowd in Warsaw, following a meeting with Polish President Andrzej Duda, in which he said that the Kremlin was most likely behind hacking that roiled 2016 election. Trump’s next stop is Hamburg, Germany, for the G20 Summit (which will include a highly-anticipated meeting between the U.S. president and Russian President Vladimir Putin.)
[image via screengrab]
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