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NATO more nervous about Biden than Trump – Politico

The bloc’s members are fretting over the US president’s gaffes while ignoring the implications of a win by the GOP candidate

The frail state of US President Joe Biden seems to have worried NATO officials at the key Washington summit far more than how the bloc could be drastically changed if Republican frontrunner Donald Trump retakes the White House, Politico reported on Thursday, citing sources.

Long-running concerns about the 81-year-old president’s mental state were exacerbated by his shaky debate performance against Trump two weeks ago. Numerous media outlets have described Biden – who often confused words and failed to finish sentences – as “fumbling” and “incoherent.” The debate disaster reportedly left some Democrats scrambling to find a replacement for him, although Biden himself has categorically stated he had no plans to drop out of the race.

Biden is also taking part in the key NATO summit in Washington this week. According to Politico, several European nations have been “alarmed” by the president’s apparent decline and increasingly concerned by or even resigned to the fact that he could lose the November election to Trump, who harbors much more “hostile” feelings towards NATO.

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Some NATO officials were upset that concerns about Biden had distracted the public from what was supposed to be a celebratory summit, according to the report. “It’s a very weird feeling to be in Europe listening to the president of the United States, and you’re more stressed about whether he will go off script than being excited to listen to the leader of the free world,” one Western official told the magazine.

A Politico source noted that “everyone’s focusing on Biden’s appearance” rather than on Trump’s statements about NATO, recalling that the GOP candidate is not much younger than his rival. “We would prefer a more stable situation in the US,” the official added.

While Biden has championed NATO as “the bulwark of global security,” Trump has been much more critical of the bloc. The ex-president has repeatedly blasted NATO allies for failing to pay what he considers a “fair share” of common defense spending. In February, Trump claimed to have told fellow Western leaders that, unless they invest more in defense, when he was in office he “would encourage” the Russians “to do whatever the hell they want.” This prompted rebukes from both the Biden administration and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.

Earlier this month, Politico also reported that Trump was considering a deal with Russia not to expand NATO to Ukraine and Georgia if he is reelected.

July 11, 2024 at 08:57PM

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