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‘Dismaying and disturbing’: Ex-GOPer explains Trump and Putin’s ‘convergence of interests’ on destroying NATO

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Days after announcing that he’s leaving the GOP, foreign policy analyst Max Boot told CNN that he has significant concerns about President Donald Trump’s escalating attacks on the North Atlantic Treaty Organization — and his cozying up to his Russian counterpart.

“He is definitely weakening the alliance,” Boot told CNN’s Wolf Blitzter Monday. “The question is whether it will survive his presidency or not. Part of that will depend, I think, on how long he stays in office.”

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The analyst said he believes it’s “really striking, the degree of hostility that Donald Trump evokes against NATO.”

“Have you ever heard him say anything positive about NATO?” Boot mused. “Off the cuff in rallies, it’s always criticism, criticism, criticism — not just of NATO but also the [European Union], the two great institutions that have created the post-war European order founded upon peace and prosperity.”

“Donald Trump is really calling all that into question with his hostility towards our allies and alliances,” he added. “At the same time, his sympathy for Vladimir Putin, who is also trying to destroy NATO and the EU — there seems to be a convergence of interest here between Trump and Putin, which is dismaying and disturbing.”

Blitzter noted that Trump has for years railed against NATO, and Boot agreed, adding that it’s clearly a “deeply-held belief” of the president’s that he “will not be strayed from.”

“Remember that this time last year, it took everything that H.R. McMaster, who was then the national security adviser, could do to get Trump on his previous trip to the NATO summit to simply avow he would support NATO Article 5, the mutual defense provision,” the analyst recalled. “Now H.R. McMaster is gone and there’s a sense that the ‘axis of adults’ has lost power in the White House. They can’t restrain Trump anymore. He’s feeling his full Trumpiness, as it were, so he’s acting on his most deeply-held beliefs, which includes this innate hostility towards America’s allies and trade partners.”

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