Former President Donald Trump alleged President Joe Biden is “compromised” because of his connections to Ukraine, and came out forcefully against the country’s possible admission into NATO.
Mr. Trump, who is running to regain the presidency, made that statement in a video posted on his campaign’s official Twitter account on July 20.
The statement was released just as Republican lawmakers disclosed an FBI form detailing an unverified allegation from a confidential source in 2020. The source made allegations about bribes paid to Mr. Biden and his son Hunter Biden by Mykola Zlochevsky, the CEO of Ukrainian energy company Burisma, whose board Hunter used to sit on. The White House described the allegations as “claims that have been debunked for years.”
Mr. Trump’s comments also follow Mr. Biden’s participation in recent discussions about whether Ukraine should be permitted to join NATO. Ukraine has been pushing to join that organization, a political and military alliance that furthers democracy. Russian President Vladimir Putin has stated that he considers NATO’s expansion to Ukraine a threat to his nation’s security.
“Under the circumstances, the notion that we would even consider admitting Ukraine into NATO at this time is completely unhinged,” Mr. Trump said.
The former president, a Republican, suggested that the current Democrat president is infirm and is incapable of making wise decisions on behalf of the United States. The White House has previously released statements declaring that a medical examination found Mr. Biden to be fit to withstand the rigors of the presidency.
“The last thing that this incompetent administration should be doing is risking war with a nuclear-armed Russia or China or other countries. We have somebody that doesn’t have a clue representing us,” Mr. Trump said.
Last week, Mr. Biden stated that now may not be the right time for Ukraine, which has been locked in a war with Russia, to become part of NATO. Since the beginning of those hostilities in February 2022, the United States has provided tens of billions of dollars in aid to Ukraine.
“So holding NATO together is really critical,” Mr. Biden said. “I don’t think there is unanimity in NATO about whether or not to bring Ukraine into the NATO family now, at this moment, in the middle of a war.”
At a summit last week, NATO expressed support for Ukraine’s eventual admission into the alliance but did not provide a clear pathway or a timeline of when this would happen.
Mr. Trump is the current Republican frontrunner for his party’s nomination to run against Mr. Joe Biden in the 2024 election.
His Republican challengers were divided on their views about the possibility of Ukraine joining NATO. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy have both said that they oppose Ukraine’s membership in NATO.
“@JoeBiden needs to man up to his bully-friend [Volodymyr] Zelensky & clearly state that we are dead-set opposed to Ukrainian admission to NATO. This should be a hard red line,” Mr. Ramaswamy posted on Twitter on July 8.
“It’s shameful that even Republicans like [Lindsey Graham] are now pushing for it. Stop marching us to the brink of nuclear war,” he said.
However, candidate Nikki Haley, a former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, told Fox News that she saw “no reason Ukraine should not be part of NATO.”
Meanwhile, former Vice President Mike Pence said that adding Ukraine to NATO could be a possibility after the war with Russia ends.
Mr. Biden sought to show, during his recent five-day European trip, that the international community remains united against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Jackson Richman and Zachary Stieber contributed to this report.