Vice President Joe Biden addressed Baltic leaders from Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia
He dismissed comments from Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump about NATO
Vice President Joe Biden reaffirmed the Obama administration’s “ironclad” commitment to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization during a visit to Latvia Tuesday, dismissing Donald Trump’s disparaging statements about the alliance.
Biden, while meeting with Baltic leaders from Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia, criticized the Republican presidential nominee saying his comments on NATO are “nothing that should be taken seriously,” adding, “I don’t think he even understands what Article 5 is.”
The Vice President, who is on a three-day swing visiting Latvia, Turkey and Sweden, said claims that the United States is somehow “disengaged” in NATO is “simply not true.”
“I want to make it absolutely clear to all the people in the Baltic states, we have pledged our sacred honor … to the NATO treaty and Article 5. We mean what we say,” Biden said in Latvia, referring to the article that outlines the principle of collective defense if a NATO member is attacked.
Trump, in an interview with The New York Times in July, outlined a sharp break in US foreign policy tradition, suggesting the US wouldn’t defend NATO allies like the Baltic states against Russian aggression if they haven’t “fulfilled their obligation to us.”
Speaking to reporters on Air Force One Tuesday, Press Secretary Josh Earnest said the President has been “crystal clear” in the United States’ commitment to NATO adding that the Vice President’s trip to Latvia should clear up any “lingering confusion if there was any.”