Republican Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas and GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump have similar concerns over the role of the United States in NATO.
"You know, [Trump] had spoken earlier that day to The Washington Post editorial board and raised some serious questions about NATO. I share some of those questions," Cotton said in a March 25 interview with MSNBC's "Morning Joe" of his March 21 meeting with Trump. "We used to split our costs 50-50 between the U.S. and Europe. Today, it’s 70/30 between the U.S. and Europe."
Trump told The Washington Post he thinks the U.S. should have a more noninterventionist foreign policy to focus on rebuilding the country.
As part of his foreign policy, he said the U.S. involvement in NATO may need to be greatly reduced.
"We certainly can’t afford to do this anymore … NATO is costing us a fortune, and yes, we’re protecting Europe with NATO, but we’re spending a lot of money,” Trump said.
Cotton said during the “Morning Joe” interview that he does not want to decrease spending in NATO, as Trump has suggested, but he does want to see European countries increase their spending to combat terrorism.
Cotton finds NATO to be a “critical national security alliance.”
When asked whether the meeting made him think Trump could be president, Cotton said, “I think he could be the commander in chief. He’s one of our leading candidates and as I said, any of our candidates right now would be a better commander in chief, they’d be a more serious leader for our country, than [Democratic presidential candidate] Hillary Clinton is."