On Tuesday's edition of CNN's "The Situation Room," former Defense Secretary Mark Esper suggested that the NATO alliance could be in danger if former President Donald Trump were to even run for office again.
"If this Russian invasion had happened during a Trump presidency, would Ukraine have gotten the weapons and the financial support it needed to hold off Putin's forces?" asked anchor Wolf Blitzer.
"Let me say this much. I think President Trump deserves credit for providing Ukraine with lethal defensive aid, most notably the Javelin anti-tank missiles," said Esper. "With regard to what would have happened, it would be all speculation. Myself and John Bolton, Mike Pompeo and others felt strongly about the importance of NATO and the criticality of defending Ukraine. It was the three of us that would at times discuss and see, meet with President Trump to push the issue of releasing the security assistance in the summer, late summer/fall of 2019."
"The three of you may have wanted to support NATO, but there's a recurring theme in your brand-new book, and it's your defense of NATO in the face of former President Trump's intense disdain for the NATO alliance," said Blitzer. "If Trump were to run again, and if he were to win, do you believe that would put the future of NATO at risk?"
"Well, it is certainly a possibility," said Esper. "Many NATO allies were anxious about this. I spent a lot of time meeting with them in Brussels, and our Indo-Pacific allies, to reassure them we value the relationship. On one hand, President Trump is right, they all should live up to their financial commitments and do more. It was wrong for Germany to continue Nord Stream 2. But you don't threaten to pull out of the alliance, threaten to walk away from the most successful alliance in history. The asymmetric capability we have that Russia and China do not have."
Esper's new book has contained numerous revelations about Trump's behavior behind the scenes, including that he wanted to secretly bomb Mexico and thought a critical U.S. Navy aircraft carrier looked "stupid."
Watch the segment below or at this link.
Mark Esper says Trump poses a threat to NATO www.youtube.com