On NATO, McConnell nudges GOP away from Trump-era approach

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., discusses NATO expansion and other issues Wednesday during an Associated Press interview in his office at the Capitol in Washington.

WASHINGTON — At a dinner with the president of Finland shortly after Russia invaded Ukraine, Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell assured his host that the U.S. Senate would swiftly ratify NATO membership if the north European country chose to apply to the military alliance.

It was a bold assumption for the Republican leader to make in the aftermath of the Trump era, when Donald Trump roused a neo-isolationist streak in the GOP, railing against the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and threatening at times to upend the decades-old alliance. But over several courses of fresh fish and schnapps, McConnell, long a proponent of NATO's expansion as a bulwark against Russian aggression, sought to leave the impression that the U.S. would most certainly welcome the new NATO members with open arms.

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

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