Donald Trump's Key Statements on Foreign Policy

© AFP 2023 / Jim WatsonThis file photo taken on July 21, 2016 shows US Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks on the last day of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio. Donald Trump said on November 9, 2016 he would bind the nation's deep wounds and be a president "for all Americans," as he praised his defeated rival Hillary Clinton.
This file photo taken on July 21, 2016 shows US Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks on the last day of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio. Donald Trump said on November 9, 2016 he would bind the nation's deep wounds and be a president for all Americans, as he praised his defeated rival Hillary Clinton. - Sputnik International
During the election campaign, next US President Donald Trump made multiple statements regarding US foreign policy.

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump puts on a miners hard hat during a rally in Charleston, W.Va., Thursday, May 5, 2016 - Sputnik International
US to Go Through Election Process Formalities Before Trump's Inauguration
MOSCOW (Sputnik) Criticizing the administration of his predecessor, President Barack Obama, Trump proposed a different strategy on how to handle the issues high on the US and international agenda.


The US Republican presidential candidate repeatedly said that he was set to cooperate with Moscow, in particular, in fighting the Islamic State (IS, or ISIS) terrorist group.

“I don’t know Putin, I don’t care too much about it. But I think it would be great if the US got along with Russia well and went after ISIS, that would be good,” Trump said at a TV debate with Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton who had accused her rival of being liked by Moscow.

Trump claimed that Russia’s nuclear arsenal is newer than the US arsenal and that the US nuclear capability is going down rapidly. “Russia has been expanding their [capabilities] — they have a much newer capability than we do. We have not been updating from the new standpoint,” Trump said during the debate while answering the anchor’s question on his stand on nuclear weapons.

Donald Trump stated that he is ready for partnership with Russia in fighting the Islamic State terrorist group, outlawed in both countries.

“My administration will work with any country that are willing to partner with us in defeating ISIS and halt radical Islamic terrorism. And by the way, it includes Russia. If they wanna join us on knocking out ISIS, that is just fine," Trump said speaking in Washington, D.C.

Donald Trump promised to fix the US relations with Russia if he becomes president. The billionaire is confident that he would “get along” with Russian President Vladimir Putin. “I think I would have a very, very good relationship with Putin. And I think I would have a very, very good relationship with Russia,” he said on NBC News.

Donald Trump in a CNBC interview said that the United States should “get along” with Russia. “He [US President Barack Obama] says I will be friendly with Putin. First, it would be great, I don’t know Putin, I don’t care too much about it. But I think it would be great if the US got along with Russia which is not happening now,” Trump said.

Donald Trump thinks World War III would break out if the United States were to intervene and take back Crimea from Russia on behalf of Ukraine.

In an ABC interview he confirmed that President Trump would "look at" whether the United States would recognize Russian control of the territory and lifting sanctions. “The people of Crimea, from what I've heard, would rather be with Russia than where they were. And you have to look at that, also," the presidential candidate said.

Donald Trump said if he is elected president, he would not care about praise from Russian President Vladimir Putin.

"The fact that he said good things about me doesn't mean that it's going to help him in a negotiation. It won't help him at all," he said. “And I will learn pretty soon if I am going to have a good relationship with Russia," the politician said to Reuters.


At the final presidential debate on October 19, 2016, Trump claimed that the current Syrian President Bashar Assad is “a bad guy,” but the oppositions backed by the US may be worse than Assad.

“Assad is a bad guy. Now she's [Hillary Clinton] going to say, oh, he loves Assad, she's — he's just much tougher and much smarter than her and Obama. He — he aligned with Russia. He has aligned with Russia and with Iran…. Iran, who we made very powerful,” Trump said. “We're backing rebels [in Syria]. We don't know who the rebels are.[…] But if they ever did overthrow Assad, you might end up with — as bad as Assad is, and he's a bad guy, but you may very well end up with worse than Assad,” he added.

Trump called the situation in Allepo “a catastrophe.” He is confident that if Assad is overthrown, things will get only worse in Syria. “Well, Aleppo is a disaster. It's a humanitarian nightmare," he added.

"I say the first thing we have to do is get rid of ISIS before we start thinking about Syria." "[Hillary Clinton] has no plan for Syria. Look, with her you'll end up in World War III," Donald Trump said in Reuters’ Oct. 25 exclusive interview. "So you're not fighting Syria anymore, you're fighting Syria, Russia and Iran, alright. Russia is a nuclear country, but a country where the nukes work as opposed to other countries that talk," he added.

Speaking about Syria, Trump also stressed that Bashar Assad has become much stronger than he was three years ago. According to him, fighting ISIS is more important than removing Assad. "[Syrian President Assad] is secondary, to me, to ISIS," he said.

On October, speaking at an election campaign rally in New Hampshire, Donald Trump promised to curb the inflow of Syrian refugees to the United States. According to him, it threatens the US security. "A Trump Administration will suspend the Syrian refugee problem. We can’t let people into this country that we don’t know about," Trump said.

He accused his presidential rival Hillary Clinton of a desire to increase the number of Syrian refugees flowing into the United States. "When I am elected president, I am going to keep radical Islamic terrorists the hell out of our country. The Trump administration will also secure and defend the borders of the United States," Trump promised during his address broadcast by C-SPAN.


He accused his rival Hillary Clinton of the rise of IS. "She gave us ISIS, because her and Obama created this huge vacuum [in the Middle East],” the politician said. Trump is sure that Washington should not have brought troops into Iraq and that in the Syrian conflict the USA have lost to Russia, Syria and Iran.

Speaking about the Mosul operation Trump claimed that the liberation of the city plays into Hillary Clinton’s hands. “But you know who the big winner in Mosul is going to be after we eventually get it? And the only reason they did it is because she's running for the office of president.”

When meeting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Donald Trump on his Facebook page promised Israel “extraordinary” cooperation if he is elected president. "Under a Trump administration, there will be extraordinary strategic, technological, military and intelligence cooperation.”

Trump, speaking at a US-Israel conference in Washington, D.C., promised that as president of the United States he would veto any UN Security Council resolution forcing a deal between Israel and the Palestinians. "An agreement imposed by the UN would be a total and complete disaster," Trump said.

Donald Trump at a meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Sisi expressed his strong support for Egypt’s war on terrorism and stressed that under a Trump administration, the United States of America will be a loyal friend, not simply an ally, that Egypt can count on in the days and years ahead.

In a July 2016 CBS interview Trump said, "Well, as a president, I'm going to be — you know, they've been an ally and I stay with our allies."

Addressing the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Trump accused the current Administration of making “the worst ever” deal with Iran on its nuclear program. "After four years of Hillary Clinton, what do we have? ISIS has spread across the region, and the world. Libya is in ruins, […]. Egypt was turned over to the radical Muslim brotherhood, forcing the military to retake control. Iraq is in chaos. Iran is on the path to nuclear weapons. Syria is engulfed in a civil war and a refugee crisis that now threatens the West,” said Trump.

Trump said that as head of state he would never let Iran have nuclear weapons. “Iran cannot be allowed to have a nuclear weapon — cannot be allowed, remember that, cannot be allowed to have a nuclear weapon," Trump repeated three times speaking on foreign policy in Washington D.C. in April 2016. “And under a Trump administration, will never, ever be allowed to have that nuclear weapon,” he added.

Donald Trump believes that the Iran nuclear deal was a disgrace for the United States. “The Iran deal is one of the worst deals I have ever seen negotiated in my entire life. It's a disgrace that this country negotiated that deal,” he said during the CBS News Republican debate.

In an interview published by the New York Times on March 26, 2016, he promised to stop buying oil from Saudi Arabia if he is elected president unless it provides troops to fight IS, stressing that “without us, Saudi Arabia wouldn’t exist for very long.” “Because we’re not being reimbursed for the kind of tremendous service that we’re performing by protecting various countries. Now Saudi Arabia’s one of them.”


Donald Trump welcomed the results of the UK referendum on leaving the EU. " "I think it's a great thing that's happened. It's an amazing vote, very historic,” Trump said to journalists adding that his mother was born in Scotland.

Trump criticized NATO allies for “doing nothing” about Ukraine and place the responsibility on the USA to shoulder.

“I look at the Ukraine situation and I say, so Ukraine is a country that affects us far less than it affects other countries in NATO, and yet we are doing all of the lifting, they’re not doing anything. And I say, why is it that Germany is not dealing with NATO on Ukraine? Why is it that other countries that are in the vicinity of the Ukraine not dealing with — why are we always the one that’s leading, potentially the third World War, okay, with Russia?” questioned the US presidential hopeful.

Donald Trump said that he thinks NATO is an obsolete organization. Addressing his supporters at his campaign rally in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, the billionaire criticized the military block allies claiming that the United States “pay far too much proportionately. "Why are we always paying the bills to protect other people?" the politician said adding "you’ve got to pay the bills. If you can’t pay the bills […]  they’ve got to go because we can’t do it."


Donald Trump promised to slap China with tariffs for manipulating its currency. "I will then direct all appropriate agencies to use every tool under American and international law to end these abuses.” “I am going to instruct my Treasury Secretary to label China a currency manipulator.” “And I love China. They buy my apartments,” but if they manipulate their currency, he is set “to apply tariffs to any country that devalues its currency to gain an unfair advantage over the United States.”

Donald Trump thinks the US should make China use their influence on North Korea to solve the nuclear problem. “We have the leverage. We have the power over China, economic power, and people don’t understand it. And with that economic power, we can rein in and we can get them to do what they have to do with North Korea, which is totally out of control,” said Trump speaking on foreign policy issues in Washington, D.C.

According to Trump, China’s currency devaluation game makes it impossible for US companies to compete with Chinese companies and China generally. “The greatest player of them all is China. Nobody has ever played the valuation game with their currency better. It's currency devaluation, than China. China is a grand master," he said in a CNN interview.

Trump added that "China has gotten rich off of us. China has rebuilt itself with the money it's sucked out of the United States and the jobs that it's sucked out of the United States."


At an election rally in North Dakota Donald Trump accused Barack Obama’s Administration and Hillary Clinton of a policy that pushes the Philippines toward Russia and China.

"They’re a very important strategic ally, and what happens? China and Russia are probably going to take it, and I see [Obama] campaigning for Crooked Hillary, come on.”

In a New York Times interview published in late March, Trump indicated that “[The United States] may very well be better off” if Japan and South Korea obtained  their own nuclear arsenal “against North Korea, which is a real problem." He also stressed that the United States pays too much for keeping US forces stationed in Japan and South Korea that protect those countries.

Donald Trump suggested that Japan and other countries should pay for their security or should help the United States with its debt. "We defend Japan … All I said was, they may have to defend themselves or they have to help us out. We're a country that owes $20 trillion. They have to help us out," Trump said.

Donald Trump thinks that the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement will work not against China, as the US Administration of Barack Obama hopes, but it will benefit China. "The TPP is horrible deal. It is a deal that is going to lead to nothing but trouble. It’s a deal that was designed for China to come in, as they always do, through the back door and totally take advantage of everyone. It’s 5,600 pages long. So complex that nobody reads," Trump said speaking at the Fourth Republican Debate in Milwaukee.


During a meeting with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto on August 31, 2016, Trump said that NAFTA got obsolete in the past 23 years and it should be improved so that it would benefit all the parties and not just Mexico as is happening now. "NAFTA has been a far greater benefit to Mexico than it has been to the United States and that it must be improved."

Donald Trump started the election campaign with a claim that Mexico generally imports criminals, rapists and drug dealers to the United States, and later proposed the idea of building a border wall. Trump promised to demand from Mexico five to ten billion dollars on erecting the wall lest all money transfers by Mexican immigrants from the United States should be banned.

At the Fourth Republican Debate in November 2015, Trump stated the building of the wall on the US-Mexican border would help solve the illegal immigration problem. “And, frankly, we have to stop illegal immigration. It’s hurting us economically. It’s hurting us from every standpoint. It’s causing tremendous difficulty with respect to drugs and what that does to many of our inner cities in particular. …And I will tell you, we are a country of laws. We need borders. We will have a wall. The wall will be built. The wall will be successful. And if you think walls don’t work, all you have to do is ask Israel. The wall works, believe me. Properly done. Believe me,” he added.

In an MSNBC interview in February 2016, Trump said that the construction of the wall is aimed at preventing illegal migration. "The wall is going to cost … maybe 10 (billion dollars) or $12 billion, and it's going to be a real wall.  It's going to be a high wall.  It's going to be a beautiful — it's going to be a wall that works.” “We're going to have a trade deficit of $58 billion, OK?  The wall is going to cost a fraction of that.”  “We have a trade deficit with Mexico of $58 billion, all I have to do it start playing with that trade deficit, and believe me, they're going to pay for the wall.  You watch.”

The billionaire explained that he is good at construction as he gained most of his wealth from real estate. According to him, a wall about 1,000 miles long will have to be built. “We can do a wall. We're going to have a big, fat beautiful door right in the middle of the wall. We are going to have people come in, but they are coming in legally,” he concluded.

In early November 2016, speaking at a rally in North Carolina, Donald Trump said about Mexico: "I was there three months ago, I met with Mexican President, he is a really smart guy. We have a great relationship. But Mexico is like a one-way street. They take the money and the jobs, the factories. You know what we get? Drugs and unemployment.” “I promise we will build the wall and I will have Mexico pay for that wall. It will be a great wall.” And the more they resist, the taller it will be.

At an election rally in Nevada on September 23, 2016, Donald Trump said he would keep the US military prison at Guantanamo Bay open and suggested that Cuba, that demands the prison should be removed from the island, should pay for it. "Guantanamo Bay, which by the way we are keeping open," Trump said. "And we are going to load it up with some bad dudes, believe me." "Maybe in our deal with Cuba we get them to take it over and reimburse us, because we're probably paying rent," the billionaire added.

In late September 2016, speaking to a US regional TV station, Donald Trump denied alleged violations of the Cuba embargo by one of his companies. "I never went to Cuba. I've never been to Cuba. I never did business with Cuba."

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