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Donald Trump falsely claims US funds ‘90 or 100%’ of Nato in GB News interview with Nigel Farage

Donald Trump has falsely claimed that the US funds “90 to 100 per cent” of Nato as he suggested the US would defend fellow alliance members from attack - if they paid their bills.

The former US President claimed Nato would not exist without American funding before demanding that member states pay their “fair share”, during a GB News interview with Nigel Farage on Tuesday evening.

Although the US does account for the majority of Nato defence spending, the figure is approximately 70 per cent. And when it comes to direct contributions - money provided by members to cover organisational costs - the US contributes 16 per cent of the total, the same as Germany.

Donald Trump made a number of false claims during the interview from  Mar-A-Lago (The Independent)
Donald Trump made a number of false claims during the interview from Mar-A-Lago (The Independent)

“Nato has to treat the US fairly, because if it’s not for the United States, Nato literally doesn’t even exist,” MrTrump told Mr Farage.

Asked if the US under his presidency would come to the aid of Nato countries under attack, Mr Trump said he would - only if they had already increased their defence spending. It was the second time this year he had made comments to that effect, hinting at what the relationship with Nato would be like if he returns to the presidency in the November US elections.

Last month, he said he would "encourage" Russia to "do whatever the hell they want" to Nato countries which didn’t meet their financial obligations to the alliance.

Only 11 Nato member states currently spend the required two per cent of their gross domestic product (GDP), according to Statista. And major countries, including Germany, France and Italy, have previously failed to meet this target, despite it being mandatory. However, in light of Vladimir Putin’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, European Nato states are increasing their spending.

The former US president was speaking to long-time supporter Nigel Farage (GB News)
The former US president was speaking to long-time supporter Nigel Farage (GB News)

The alliance’s secretary general Jens Stoltenberg said earlier this year that he expects 18 allies to meet the two per cent requirement in 2024, a six-fold increase since 2014, when Putin first launched an invasion of eastern Ukraine.

“In 2024, NATO Allies in Europe will invest a combined total of 380 billion US dollars in defence. For the first time, this amounts to two per cent of their combined GDP," said Mr Stoltenberg in February.

That same Germany announced that it had met the two per cent target, having allocated the equivalent of €71.8 billion (£61bn) for defence spending in the current year through regular and special budget outlays.

Mr Trump interview with the former Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage took place at the former president’s Mar-A-Lago resort in Florida.

During the conversation he touched on a number of other subjects, repeating the false claim that he won in the 2020 race and saying that he had not been approached by potential future prime minister Sir Keir Starmer when asked by Mr Farage. He also addressed issues facing the royal family, including the doctored photo of Kate Middleton, his admiration of the Queen and Prince Harry’s US visa.

Mr Trump spoke about Prince Harry’s visa, that helped him secure a new life in the US with wife Meghan (REUTERS)
Mr Trump spoke about Prince Harry’s visa, that helped him secure a new life in the US with wife Meghan (REUTERS)

Asked if Harry should have “special privileges” if he is found to have lied in his visa application, Mr Trump said: “No. We’ll have to see if they know something about the drugs, and if he lied they’ll have to take appropriate action.”

However, Mr Trump refused to be drawn on whether Harry could be forced to leave the US, where he currently lives with his wife and children.

“Oh, I don’t know,” he said. “You’ll have to tell me. You just have to tell me. You would have thought they would have known this a long time ago.”

It comes after Harry’s references to taking cocaine, marijuana and psychedelic mushrooms in his memoir Spare prompted a conservative Washington DC think tank to question why he was allowed into the US in 2020.

The Heritage Foundation brought the lawsuit against the Department for Homeland Security (DHS) after a Freedom of Information Act request was rejected – claiming it was of “immense public interest”.