Amid controversy over former U.S. President Donald Trump's latest comments encouraging Russia to attack European allies if they do not meet NATO budget contribution goals, a former White House chief of staff said Trump holds a similar position regarding U.S. forces in South Korea and Japan.
CNN's Jim Sciutto, who is set to publish "The Return of Great Powers" on March 12, said former White House chief of staff to Trump, John Kelly, told him during an interview published in the book that such disparagement of U.S. security commitments extends to defense agreements with Seoul and Tokyo.
Kelly, a retired general, said Trump saw absolutely no point in NATO during his first presidential term, and was dead set against having troops in South Korea or Japan as a deterrent force.
Kelly said Trump thought North Korean leader Kim Jong-un was an "okay guy," a sentiment that he also applied to Russian President Vladimir Putin, and that the U.S. had "pushed the North into a corner."
John Bolton, Trump's former national security adviser, said NATO would be in "real jeopardy" as Trump, if reelected, would try to get out of the alliance.