Republican front-runner Donald Trump expressed his distaste for how often America takes a leadership role in international affairs on Monday.
Trump was specifically upset with the role the United States plays in NATO.
“Ukraine is a country that affects us far less than it affects other countries in NATO, and yet we’re doing all of the lifting,” Trump told The Washington Post.
“They’re not doing anything. And I say, ‘Why is it that Germany’s not dealing with NATO on Ukraine? Why is it that other countries that are in the vicinity of Ukraine, why aren’t they dealing? Why are we always the one that’s leading, potentially the third world war with Russia.’”
Trump told the paper’s editorial board that the United States could not afford to play the same leadership role in world affairs it has played for decades.
“I do think it’s a different world today, and I don’t think we should be nation-building anymore,” he said. “I think it’s proven not to work, and we have a different country than we did then. We have $19 trillion in debt. We’re sitting, probably, on a bubble. And it’s a bubble that if it breaks, it’s going to be very nasty.
“I just think we have to rebuild our country.”
Trump then said that the United States is not rich anymore and, therefor, can’t afford to maintain its leadership role in the international military partnership.
“We certainly can’t afford to do this anymore,” he told the paper. “NATO is costing us a fortune, and yes, we’re protecting Europe with NATO, but we’re spending a lot of money. South Korea is very rich, great industrial country, and yet we’re not reimbursed fairly for what we do. We’re constantly sending our ships, sending our planes, doing our war games—we’re reimbursed a fraction of what this is all costing.”
Instead, Trump labeled America a poor country.
“I think we were a very powerful, very wealthy country, and we are a poor country now,” he said. “We’re a debtor nation.”