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Germany’s Scholz fires back at Trump – POLITICO

Trump triggered uproar across Europe after telling a crowd during a weekend campaign stop in South Carolina that he would “encourage” Russia to invade NATO allies who are “delinquent,” saying: “You gotta pay. You gotta pay your bills.”

Tusk, who arrived in Berlin to meet Scholz after seeing French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris earlier in the day, said that “regardless” of what Trump says, “it is really in our common European interest that all NATO member states directly and clearly increase the funding of defense” capabilities.

“This is really necessary and not because Donald Trump said so, but quite objectively,” Tusk added. “We have to take care of improving our defense potential ourselves and this European part of NATO has to take a more determined stand. I would try to convince all European partners in NATO of this.”

European leaders have in recent weeks increasingly fretted over the security implications of a possible second Trump presidency. But the former president’s comments over the weekend have added a greater sense of urgency to already ongoing European debates about achieving greater strategic autonomy from the U.S.

“I’m really convinced that these words from Donald Trump should act as a cold shower for all of us, especially for those who are not so aware of this real threat that we are facing, or don’t take it very seriously,” said Tusk in Berlin. “We really must hope for full cooperation from the United States, but Europe must also invest in its own security.”

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