Trump was planning to withdraw US from Nato and ditch South Korea alliance, according to new book

‘Yeah, the second term. We’ll do it in the second term,’ then-president reportedly said

Helen Elfer
Tuesday 13 July 2021 19:35 BST
Trump says Supreme Court 'should be ashamed' for refusing to indulge in his election lies

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Louise Thomas

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Donald Trump was considering pulling out of Nato and cutting the US’s alliance with South Korea if he won the 2020 election, according to an account of his private meetings with top aides.

I Alone Can Fix It: Donald J Trump’s Catastrophic Final Year is a behind-the-scenes account of Mr Trump’s last year in the White House, authored by Pulitzer Prize-winning reporters Phil Rucker and Carol Leonnig.

In an excerpt published in the Washington Post, Mr Trump is said to have lost the confidence of Defense Secretary Mark Esper. According to the book, Mr Esper confided in colleagues that he was rooting for Joe Biden to win the election because he believed he cared about national security.

“Esper couldn’t say the same about Trump. In fact, Trump had privately indicated that he would seek to withdraw from Nato and to blow up the US alliance with South Korea, should he win reelection. When those alliances had come up in meetings with Esper and other top aides, some advisers warned Trump that shredding them before the election would be politically dangerous.

“Yeah, the second term,” Trump had said. “We’ll do it in the second term.”

According to the excerpt, episodes recounted in the book are based on interviews with senior Trump administration officials, friends and advisers to the president.

White House scenes from election night are described in detail, including Mr Trump’s reaction to seeing Arizona called for Mr Biden on Fox News.

“Trump, who had been watching Fox, was livid. He could not fathom that the conservative news network he had long considered an extension of his campaign was the first news organization to call Arizona for Biden. This was a betrayal. His top advisers, who had been in the Map Room at the time, rushed upstairs to see the president.’

‘What the f--- is Fox doing?” Trump screamed. Then he barked orders to Kushner: “Call Rupert! Call James and Lachlan!” And to Jason Miller: “Get Sammon. Get Hemmer. They’ve got to reverse this.” The president was referring to Fox owner Rupert Murdoch and his sons, James and Lachlan, as well as Bill Sammon, a top news executive at Fox.

Trump’s tirade continued. “What the f---?” he bellowed.”

I Alone Can Fix It: Donald J Trump’s Catastrophic Final Year is published on 20 July by Penguin Press.

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