's threat to abandon NATO allies to Russian attack 'lands with a thud' - ... trends now

's threat to abandon NATO allies to Russian attack 'lands with a thud' - ... trends now
Trump's threat to abandon NATO allies to Russian attack 'lands with a thud' - ... trends now

Trump's threat to abandon NATO allies to Russian attack 'lands with a thud' - ... trends now

Donald Trump has a knack for saying what many voters want to hear.

But the former president is wide of the mark when it comes to sticking up for NATO allies in the face of Russian aggression.

That's according to a Quinnipiac University poll, which shows US voters by wide margins firmly back the 74-year-old military alliance and its cast-iron mutual defense guarantee.

More than seven-in-ten respondents called Trump's approach — to encourage Russia to attack a non-paying NATO member — a 'bad idea.'

The nationwide Quinnipiac University survey of 1,421 voters was carried out in mid-February

The nationwide Quinnipiac University survey of 1,421 voters was carried out in mid-February 

Barely a fifth called it a 'good idea.'

Quinnipiac pollster Tim Malloy said Trump's 'hardball stance' toward NATO allies 'lands with a thud' with the 1,421 respondents.

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'American voters affirm the 31-member security alliance isn't just good for Europe, it's good for the United States,' said Malloy.

Trump has longstanding concerns that America is being taken for a ride by NATO allies that don't meeting a commitment to devote 2 percent of their economies to defense spending.

Speaking at a rally in Conway, South Carolina, earlier this month, the Republican front-runner went further than in his previous remarks.

He recounted a story about an unidentified NATO member who confronted him over his threat not to defend members who fail to meet the trans-Atlantic alliance's defense spending targets.

'You didn't pay? You're delinquent?' Trump recounted saying.

'No I would not protect you. In fact, I would encourage [Russia] to do whatever the hell they want. You gotta pay. You gotta pay your bills.'

Then-president Donald Trump and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin shake hands in Helsinki, Finland, in 2018

Then-president Donald Trump and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin shake hands in Helsinki, Finland, in 2018 

Ukrainian military walk amid debris after a Russian missile strike in Kharkiv: a potent symbol of Russia's threat to Europe

Ukrainian military walk amid debris after a Russian missile

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