On January 17 of this year, during a CNBC interview during the World Economic Forum in Davos, the Chairman and CEO of JPMorgan Chase, Jamie Dimon, made the unhinged remark that Donald Trump “was kind of right about NATO.”
A New York Times article from January 14, 2019 outlined Trump’s position on NATO as follows:
“There are few things that President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia desires more than the weakening of NATO, the military alliance among the United States, Europe and Canada that has deterred Soviet and Russian aggression for 70 years.
“Last year, President Trump suggested a move tantamount to destroying NATO: the withdrawal of the United States.”
This past Saturday, during a campaign stop in South Carolina, Trump recited a prior conversation he said he had had about NATO with a world leader. The video clip of Trump’s remarks was aired yesterday on NBC’s Meet the Press:
TRUMP: “One of the presidents of a big country stood up, said, ‘Well, sir, if we don’t pay and we’re attacked by Russia, will you protect us?’ I said, ‘You didn’t pay. You’re delinquent?’ He said, ‘Yes. Let’s say that happened.’ [Trump says he responded:] ‘No, I would not protect you. In fact, I would encourage them to do whatever the hell they want. You’ve got to pay. You’ve got to pay your bills.”
Putting aside the fact that Trump is notorious for not paying his bills and taking his businesses into bankruptcy six times, the U.S. and its allies are currently attempting to stop Russia in its invasion of Ukraine and to present a united front to Russian President Vladimir Putin to prevent an invasion of a neighboring NATO country.
Former New Jersey Governor, Chris Christie, who recently dropped out as a Republican candidate for president, was interviewed on Meet the Press yesterday and asked about Trump’s remarks on Saturday about NATO. Christie had this to say:
CHRISTIE: “Well, look, this is why I’ve been saying for a long time that he’s unfit to be president of the United States. Now, it’s one thing and I think it’s right for a president to say to a NATO member, ‘Hey, you’ve got to pay the dues you need to pay.’ I think the American people would expect that of a president. But the problem with Donald Trump is he can’t just stop there. He’s got to say, ‘I would encourage Russia to do whatever the hell they wanted to you.’ That is absolutely inappropriate for a president of the United States or a candidate for president of the United States to be saying. But it is consistent with his love for dictators.”
A current Republican presidential candidate, Nikki Haley, was interviewed yesterday on CBS’ Face the Nation. Haley was asked about the same Trump remarks. Her response was this:
HALEY: “NATO has been a success story for the last 75 years. But what bothers me about this is, don’t take the side of a thug who kills his opponents. Don’t take the side of someone who has gone in and invaded a country and half-a-million people have died or been wounded because of Putin.
“Don’t take the side of someone who continues to lie. I dealt with Russia every day [as former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations]. The last thing we ever want to do is side with Russia. What we always need to remember is, America needs to have friends. After September 10, we needed a lot of friends. We can never get into the point where we don’t need friends.
“Now, we do want NATO allies to pull their weight. But there are ways you can do that without sitting there and telling Russia, have your way with these countries. That’s not what we want. If you notice, Russia has never invaded a NATO country. They’ve invaded Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine.
“They are actually very intimidated by – by NATO. NATO allows us to prevent war. We need to always focus on preventing war.”
White House spokesman, Andrew Bates, had this to say about Trump’s remarks on NATO: “Encouraging invasions of our closest allies by murderous regimes is appalling and unhinged – and it endangers American national security, global stability and our economy at home.”
Trump’s remarks were also quickly rebuked by European leaders.
Why Jamie Dimon, who sits at the helm of the largest taxpayer-backstopped bank in the United States (and has presided over a rap sheet that rivals that of an organized crime family) thinks he has a right to undermine NATO in the midst of a brutal Russian invasion and during delicate deliberations in Congress to pass financial aid to Ukraine, should greatly disturb the shareholders of JPMorgan Chase, as well as every Bank.
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