Sixty Minutes Interview: New Revelations of Trump’s NATO Policy

Excerpts from President Donald Trump’s interview with Lesley Stahl, aired on October 14, 2018.

STAHL:  You have also slapped some tariffs on our allies.

TRUMP:  I mean, what’s an ally? We have wonderful relationships with a lot of people. But nobody treats us much worse than the European Union. The European Union was formed in order to take advantage of us on trade. And that’s what they’ve done.

STAHL:  This is hostile.

TRUMP:  It’s not hostile…. You know what’s hostile, the way they treat us. We’re not hostile. We’ve been, we’ve been the stupid country for so many years….

TRUMP:  I like NATO. NATO’s fine. But you know what, we shouldn’t be paying almost the entire cost of NATO to protect Europe. And then on top of that, they take advantage of us on trade. I’m not going to do it anymore. They understand that….

STAHL:  Are you willing to disrupt the Western alliance its been going for 70 years, its kept the peace for 70 years?

TRUMP:  You don’t know that. You don’t know that.

STAHL:  I don’t know what?

TRUmP:  You don’t know that.

STAHL:  Is it true General Mattis said to you, the reason for NATO and the reason for all these alliances is to prevent World War III?

TRUMP:  No it’s not true. Frankly, I like General Mattis. I know more about it than he does. And I know more about it from the standpoint of fairness. That I can tell you…. I will always be there with NATO, but they have to pay their way. I’m fully in favor of NATO but I don’t want to be taken advantage of.

Image: Donald Trump, December 16, 2015 (photo: Gage Skidmore)