Representative Sheila Jackson Lee

Representing the 18th District of TEXAS

Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee Statement following Reports that the President wishes to Withdraw from the North Atlantic Treaty Organization

Jan 16, 2019
Press Release

For Immediate Release                                                                  Contact: Robin Chand

January 15, 2019                                                                                   (202) 225–3816

Press Statement

Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee Statement following Reports that the President wishes to Withdraw from the North Atlantic Treaty Organization

 

Jackson Lee—“And, the desire to withdraw from NATO reveals Trump’s willingness to turn our back on our treaty obligations and ignores a critical reality sure to strike a chord with any American who lived through the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.  The North Atlantic Treaty provides for mutual defense—if one country that is a party to the treaty is attacked, then it is construed as an attack on all countries party to the treaty.  This is known as Article 5.  It has only been invoked once—in defense of the United States in the moments and days after the worst domestic terror attack on American soil.”

WASHINGTON, DC – Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security and Investigations, and senior member of the House Committees on Judiciary, Homeland Security, and Budget, and a Senior Member of the Gun Violence Prevention Taskforce, released this statement following reports that the President seeks to withdraw from NATO:

“Yesterday evening, the New York Times reported that on several occasions in 2018, the President stated his desire to withdraw from the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (“NATO”).  Such a desire, in one fell-swoop, makes clear that the current occupant of the White House is unfit to lead the Western Alliance.

“If true, the report suggests a fundamental misunderstanding by the President of the role of the United States over the course of the last 75 years.  It misapprehends the role that NATO played as a bulwark against the Warsaw Pact, the Soviet-led group that stood in solidarity to bring the world under the influence of the hammer and sickle. 

“Vocalizing a desire to withdraw from NATO reveals a desire to destroy the historic organization that has kept the peace and preserved freedom for more than 75 years and confirms the suspicions of many that the president is an agent of Russia, whose primary geopolitical aim is the weakening of NATO.  Without NATO, the Cold War would not have ended without firing a shot, and without NATO, countries in the Soviet bloc that comprised the Warsaw Pact would still be the captive nations.   

“And, the desire to withdraw from NATO reveals Trump’s willingness to turn our back on our treaty obligations and ignores a critical reality sure to strike a chord with any American who lived through the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.  The North Atlantic Treaty provides for mutual defense—if one country that is a party to the treaty is attacked, then it is construed as an attack on all countries party to the treaty.  This is known as Article 5.  It has only been invoked once—in defense of the United States in the moments and days after the worst domestic terror attack on American soil. 

“While I hope the reporting in the New York Times is incorrect, I fear that is not.  It is my hope that the President educates himself on the historic and indispensable role of NATO in maintaining the global order, and recommits to the role to which he was elected—leader of the free world.”

 

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Sheila Jackson Lee, a Democrat representing the 18th Congressional District of Texas, is a senior member of the House Committees on Judiciary, Homeland Security and the Budget. She is a Ranking Member of the Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigations.