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Donald Trump says he would refine key foreign policy positions under a new tagline: “America first.” (Photo: Andrew Harnik/AP)
Donald Trump says if elected president, he would consider a freeze on buying oil from Saudi Arabia unless the Saudi government provides ground troops in the fight against the Islamic State.
“The answer is, probably yes,” Trump said when asked by the New York Times if he would halt U.S. oil purchases from the Middle East without military support from Arab countries in the region. “We protect countries, and take tremendous monetary hits on protecting countries. That would include Saudi Arabia, but it would include many other countries, as you know. We have, there’s a whole big list of them. We lose, everywhere. We lose monetarily, everywhere.
“And yet, without us, Saudi Arabia wouldn’t exist for very long,” the Republican frontrunner continued. “It would be, you know, a catastrophic failure without our protection.”
The real estate mogul insisted he isn’t an isolationist when it comes to his foreign policy — rather, he is “America first.”
“We have been disrespected, mocked, and ripped off for many, many years by people that were smarter, shrewder, tougher,” Trump told the newspaper. “We were the big bully, but we were not smartly led. And we were the big bully who was the big, stupid bully, and we were systematically ripped off by everybody.”
The former “Celebrity Apprentice” star, whose lack of foreign policy chops have come under fire as he inches closer to the GOP nomination, named three additional military advisers — retired Maj. Gen. Gary Harrell, Maj. Gen. Bert Mizusawa and retired Rear Adm. Charles Kubic — to his foreign policy team.
Later in the interview, Trump suggested NATO is ineffective when it comes to countering terror.
“Right now we don’t have somebody looking at terror, and we should be looking at terror,” Trump said. “It has to be changed. It has to be changed to include terror.”
In an appearance on ABC’s “This Week,” Trump defended his position.
“I think NATO is obsolete,” he said. “NATO was done at a time you had the Soviet Union, which was obviously larger — much larger than Russia is today. I’m not saying Russia is not a threat. But we have other threats. We have the threat of terrorism. And NATO doesn’t discuss terrorism. NATO’s not meant for terrorism. NATO doesn’t have the right countries in it for terrorism.”
The brash billionaire, who is quick to respond to his Republican rivals and their wives via tweets, was asked if he would engage in similar Twitter wars with world leaders.
“It’s a new way of communicating,” Trump replied. “It’s very effective. I’ve been very effective with it. I have, between that and Facebook, I have like 15 or 16 million followers. It’s a great way of communicating. Now, other people don’t like it, because they have 15 followers.”
But if he makes it to the White House, don’t expect the same volume of late-night tweets Trump’s been known to fire off on the campaign trail.
“It’s a great way of communicating, as far as I’m concerned,” he said. “But I’m not going to be doing it very much as president.”