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Biden, Haley defend each other against rampaging Trump

Published:

WASHINGTON: US President Joe Biden and Republican challenger Nikki

Haley

came to each others defense against a

rampaging

Donald

Trump

, whose open incitement to Russia to attack NATO allies if they did not pay for protection continued to convulse Washington and European capitals.

Nikki Haley takes on Donald Trump on her home Turf in South Carolina

Lashing out at Trump for his virtual invitation to Russia to invade frontline NATO countries with remarks that have inflamed Washington’s traditional foreign policy mavens, Haley the comments showed Trump is “lacking moral clarity” and they “should send a chill up everyone’s spine.”
“It’s the kind of comment that makes Joe Biden look clear-headed,” Haley said in an oblique reference to a Justice Department report that referred to the President as an “elderly man with poor memory.” Haley’s campaign for the Republican presidential nomination has seen her attack both men on grounds of age and mental acuity.

Biden meanwhile defended Haley against Trump’s crude suggestion that her husband, Michael Haley, who is serving in the US National Guard in the Horn of Africa, had left her over an alleged affair.
“The answer is that Major Haley is abroad, serving his country right now…We know Trump thinks our troops are ‘suckers,’ but this guy wouldn’t know service to his country if it slapped him in the face.” Biden said.
Haley too continued to attack Trump for avoiding military service, telling Politico magazine: “Military families go through a lot. And the fact that Donald Trump’s never even got near a military uniform, he’s never had that experience, never known what it’s like, goes to show why he continues to call them suckers and losers.”

“I have long talked about the fact that we need to have mental competency tests for anyone over the age of 75. Donald Trump claims that he would pass that — maybe he would, maybe he wouldn’t. But if you mock the service of a combat veteran, you don’t deserve a driver’s license, let alone being President of the United States,” Haley said at a rally.
Trump remarks, widely seen as inflammatory, does not appear to have cost him any support among his MAGA faithful. Even Republican grandees who in the past have been foreign policy hawks muted any criticism of his provocative comments on NATO, a stance that enraged Haley, who served as the Trump WHite House’s ambassador to the UN.
“Why is there silence from the Republican Party? Like, where is everybody? Where are the Republicans in defense of our men and women in uniform that sacrifice for us and protect our country?” she asked.
Some polls show Haley leading Biden in general election matchup, but to get there she will have to beat Trump for the Republican nomination, which shows Trump far ahead of her even in her home state South Carolina, which will have its primary election next week.
Haley has been hanging in the race hoping that Trump will self-destruct with the kind of remarks he made about NATO, but there is no sign that is about to happen. Effectively, Trump has set the stage to recast US foreign policy if he wins a second term even if it means Washington being seen as a running a “protection racket.”
In fact, some foreign policy pundits have used that exact term to describe Trump’s approach. “This is crazy. And 8 years later, Trump shows that he STILL doesn’t understand how NATO works! It’s not a protection racket. They don’t pay us to protect them,” former US ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul said on Twitter.
Experts have contested Trump’s assertion that NATO members are required under the alliance to spend 2 percent of their GDP on defense, saying it was only a guideline. Trump has repeatedly claimed that several countries were delinquent in meeting their obligations, were “taking America for a ride,” and he got them to pony up the money after he became President by threatening that he would not

defend

them if Russia attacked.
He has also threatened to withdraw from NATO, calling it “obsolete” and a drain on American resources, views that are also echoed by Moscow.

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