Biden Says NATO Must Protect Against ‘phony Populism’

Biden Says NATO Must Protect Against ‘phony Populism’

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(CNN)President Joe Biden on Monday called on foreign leaders to protect against those who prey on division and push “phony populism,” asserting that it’s up to democratic nations to prove to the world that democracy can prevail and autocracies cannot “deliver for the needs of our people.”

“We have to root out corruption that siphons off our strength, guard against those who would stoke hatred and division for political gain as phony populism, invest in strengthening institutions that underpin and safeguard our cherished democratic values,” he said, adding later: “That’s how we’ll prove that democracy and that our alliance can still prevail against the challenges of our time and deliver for the needs and the needs of our people.”

Biden struck the tough tone as he spoke with reporters in Brussels, Belgium, following his first NATO summit, seeking to return the defense alliance’s faith in American leadership. The comments also come ahead of his talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin, for which he is intensely preparing, according to officials.

    Biden specifically referred to his predecessor’s politics as part of a trend of “phony populism,” telling reporters that he’s attempted to assuage the fears of leaders following President Donald Trump’s tenure who have doubted America’s role on the world stage.

      “What I’m saying to them is: Watch me. I mean, I’m not saying anything, quite frankly, I’m just going out. People, as I’ve said before, don’t doubt that I mean what I say,” Biden said. “And they believe that I keep my commitments when I say it. I’m not making any promises to anyone that I don’t believe are overwhelmingly likely to be kept.”

        Responding to a question about how American allies were rattled by the attack on the US Capitol on January 6, Biden said, “I think it is a shock and surprise that what’s happened in terms of consequence of President Trump’s phony populism has happened.”

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