President Biden denounced former President Donald J. Trump on Tuesday for encouraging Russia to attack some NATO allies, calling the comments “dumb,” “shameful,” “dangerous” and “un-American” as he implored House Republicans to defy their putative nominee and pass new security aid for Ukraine and Israel.
In a televised statement, Mr. Biden said a $95 billion spending package passed earlier in the day on a bipartisan vote in the Senate was imperative to help defeat the “vicious onslaught” of President Vladimir V. Putin’s Russia against Ukraine. And he linked the legislative debate to Mr. Trump’s campaign speech siding with Moscow over European allies he deemed “delinquent.”
“Can you imagine?” Mr. Biden told reporters at the White House. “A former president of the United States saying that? The whole world heard it. And the worst thing is he means it. No other president in our history has ever bowed down to a Russian dictator. Let me say this as clearly as I can — I never will. For God’s sake, it’s dumb, it’s shameful, it’s dangerous, it’s un-American.”
Mr. Trump, who has long expressed admiration for Mr. Putin and derision for NATO and Ukraine, boasted at a campaign rally over the weekend that he had warned NATO allies that did not spend enough on their own militaries that he would not come to their defense if Russia attacked them, despite Article 5 of the alliance charter requiring members to aid one another in event of an outside attack. Not only would he not help them, Mr. Trump said, he would “encourage” Russia “to do whatever the hell they want” against them.
Mr. Biden’s statement on Tuesday came hours after the Senate passed the security aid legislation on a 70-to-29 vote, with 22 Republicans joining nearly all Democrats in supporting the financing. The package includes $60.1 billion for Ukraine, $14.1 billion for Israel and $9.2 billion for humanitarian aid for civilians in Gaza, Ukraine and other conflict zones.
Speaker Mike Johnson, however, has vowed not to allow a vote on the floor without including hard-line policies cracking down on illegal immigration. “In the absence of having received any single border policy change from the Senate, the House will have to continue to work its own will on these important matters,” he said on Monday night.
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