In an interview on ABC's "This Week," Donald Trump says that the Cold War-era alliance headquartered in Brussels has been revealed as "obsolete" following devastating terrorist attacks in that city this week.
"NATO doesn't discuss terrorism," Trump said. "NATO's not meant for terrorism. NATO doesn't have the right countries in it for terrorism."
NATO forces from Germany and Britain did deploy to Afghanistan after 9/11.
"NATO was done at a time you had the Soviet Union, which was obviously larger -- much larger than Russia is today. I'm not saying Russia is not a threat," Trump explained. "But we have other threats. We have the threat of terrorism."
JONATHAN KARL, ABC NEWS: OK, let's turn to the attacks in Brussels. The State Department has issued an extraordinary warning for all of Europe.
Do you think that Europe, right now, is a safe place for Americans to travel?
TRUMP: Well, I'm the only one that predicted it. I said Brussels is a hellhole and "The New York Times" mocked me and -- and said, a couple of months ago, "The New York Times" did a big story about how dare Donald Trump say Brussels is a hellhole, how dare they?
And then all of a sudden, it came out the attack took place in Brussels.
I understand what's going on around the world far better than these politicians do. I'm all over it.
KARL: But (INAUDIBLE)...
TRUMP: And I have friends that are all over the world.
I will tell you, I was -- I was really hit hard by "The New York Times" in an article, how dare I attack Brussels?
And now this happened. And, you know, the biggest thing on the Internet, one of the big things on the Internet was that Trump was 100 percent right about Brussels.
KARL: But -- but right now, do you think that Brussels is -- that Europe is a safe place for Americans?
More to the point, would you feel comfortable traveling to Europe right now with your family?
TRUMP: I don't think America is a safe place for Americans, if you want to know the truth. I don't think Bruss -- England or I don't think that Europe is a safe place. No, I don't. I think there are a lot of problems in Europe that are very, very severe.
Weak -- you know, the -- lots of the free world has become weak. When you look at Brussels, when you look at the way they've handled things from law enforcement standpoints, when you look at Paris, when you look at so many other places, no, it's not.
But neither is the United States a safe place, because we're allowing thousands of people to come in here. Nobody knows where they're from. Nobody knows who they are and they're coming in here by the thousands. And let me tell you something, we're going to have problems -- for -- just as big or bigger than they've got.
KARL: Now, you -- you gave a series of interviews, "New York Times," "Washington Post," on -- on foreign policy. In both of those, you suggested that NATO, uh, needs to do more to carry its weight.
I want to ask you about NATO code -- NATO's Article Five on collective defense, which, of course, goes back to the very beginning of the cold war.
Is that something that is simply out of date and needs to be maybe done away with?
TRUMP: I think NATO is obsolete. NATO was done at a time you had the Soviet Union, which was obviously larger -- much larger than Russia is today. I'm not saying Russia is not a threat.
But we have other threats. We have the threat of terrorism. And NATO doesn't discuss terrorism. NATO's not meant for terrorism. NATO doesn't have the right countries in it for terrorism.
And what I'm saying is that we pay, number one, a totally disproportionate share of NATO. We're spending -- the biggest alliance share is paid for by us, disproportionate to other countries.
And if you look at the Ukraine, we're the ones always fighting on the Ukraine. I never hear any other countries even mentioned and we're fighting constantly. We're talking about Ukraine, get out, do this, do that.
And I mean Ukraine is very far away from us.
How come the countries near the Ukraine, surrounding the Ukraine, how come they're not opening up and they're not at least protesting?
I never hear anything from anybody except the United States.
What I'm saying is NATO is obsolete. NATO is -- is obsolete and it's extremely expensive for the United States, disproportionately so. And we should readjust NATO.
And it's going to have to be either readjusted to take care of terrorism. Or we're going to have to set up a new -- a new coalition, a new group of -- of the countries to handle terrorism, because ter -- terrorism is out of control.
KARL: But Ukraine is not a member of NATO. I mean there are no U.S. troops involved in Ukraine.
TRUMP: I'm not saying they're a member. What I'm saying about Ukraine is when we want to protect -- you know, when we're -- we're talk -- when Russia is going into Ukraine, we immediately get NATO.
I don't hear from the other countries. I don't hear that having to do with Ukraine. I don't hear from the other countries in NATO. I don't hear from Germany. I don't hear from -- I only hear from the United States.
We've got to, you know, do this and we're constantly telling Russia what to do. And it's all fine if everybody partakes. But I don't see other people partaking.
And then you say why are we paying -- Jon, why are we paying disproportionately the costs of NATO?
We're paying a tremendous amount more than we should be from the standpoint of proportion.
So, uh, I look at, I look at the fact that it was a long time ago.
You know, there's nothing wrong with saying that a concept was good, but now it's obsolete or now it's outmoded.
Now, it can be trimmed up and it can be, uh, it can be reconfigured and you can call it NATO, but it's going to be changed. I mean this thing was -- was done many decades ago. And there's nothing wrong with saying it's obsolete. But it is obsolete.
And, by the way, I took a lot of heat for saying that and now everyone is agreeing with me. I mean I'm reading -- I'm reading pages of -- of, uh, of media where now people are agreeing with me.
I always take heat. I mean I -- I listened to somebody this morning on one of your competing channels talking about "The Washington Post." I gave a very good interview to "The Washington Post." And frankly, uh, I thought it was very good.
You know, it's very interesting, everybody was knocking on NATO, like they do usually -- when I talk about -- when I talk about illegal immigration. I went -- I went through hell with illegal immigration. Now everyone is saying Trump is right.
When I talked about the problems that we have with trade. Now they're all saying Trump is right. The same thing with NATO.
When I did that, two days I took abuse from the media falsely. Now, people are saying -- many, many people are saying, you know, Trump is right. He's absolutely right about NATO.