James O'Brien 10am - 1pm
Claims Trump would pull out of NATO are 'froth and speculation’, says Defence Minister
8 November 2020, 11:47
The Secretary of State for Defence has told LBC’s Swarbrick on Sunday that any suggestion of US President Donald pulling out of NATO is “just froth and speculation”.
Conservative Ben Wallace said claims Mr Trump wanted to pull America out of NATO were “all speculation” and that the UK "looks forward to getting down to business with President-elect Joe Biden".
Prior to taking office the US President described NATO as "obsolete" and threatened to withdraw from the transatlantic alliance if European countries didn't spend more on defence.
Mr Wallace told LBC: “I did quite a lot of work with Mark Esper, my colleague in the Pentagon, the US Defence Secretary... and there was no mention of pulling out of NATO.”
“That was just froth and speculation,” he added, “The simple reality is day in, day out the United States and the United Kingdom work together militarily around the world to defend our values, to keep us safe here at home, keep the United States safe at home and that speaks volumes for what our real relationship is.”
The Defence Minister congratulated Joe Biden and Kamala Harris on their win against Donald Trump, describing Ms Harris’ election as the first female vice-president as “a historic occasion for the United States”.
Tom put it to Mr Wallace that the relationship with Joe Biden would be “pretty frosty”, “not least because of a lingering loathing” comments Boris Johnson made that President Obama was “part Kenyan”.
But the Conservative MP rejected the suggestion, telling LBC: “American presidents know that one of the countries around the world that share their values of democracy, of open society, of free trade is the United Kingdom.
“That is what will unite us, not side briefings from aides. What will unite us is getting down to business and the United Kingdom looks forward to getting down to business with President-elect Joe Biden.”
Mr Wallace continued: “We have had a good relationship with President Trump and will continue to do so until that power transitions.
“But it has always been the case that the United Kingdom is actually united with the United States on values, on security and we are going to look forward to working with them at both COP26 and indeed the G7 next year.”