“When he (Putin) reads this kind of statement, it’s an encouragement to him. We’re not deterring him, we’re in effect giving him a free hand. So I hope that whoever advised Mr. Trump on this rethinks it,” he added.
During an interview with the New York Times on Wednesday, Trump suggested he would be hesitant to honor the United States’ commitment to back up NATO nations unless certain conditions were met.
When asked whether he would provide help to NATO nations subjected to Russian aggression, Trump said he would only do so after assessing whether they “have fulfilled their obligations to us.”
The Trump campaign also worked to keep out of the 2016 Republican platform a call to provide arms to Ukraine in order to combat Russian aggression.
Bolton told the Florida delegates that Trump’s comment “doesn’t change my mind that I’m going to vote for Donald Trump in November, but honest to God, as a Republican Party for half a century or more, we have stood where Ronald Reagan has stood. We want peace but we want American strength to keep the peace.”