Sen. Angus King says President Trump's recent comments about Montenegro reflect a misunderstanding of "the whole point of NATO" as a deterrence to Russian aggression.
Trump recently said the U.S. "may or may not" respond if the NATO ally becomes involved in a conflict with Russia.
"That flies in the face of 200 years of diplomatic history, diplomatic principal," King said in an interview Thursday morning on CNN. "It should have been dismissed completely out of hand."
King said Trump's comments are an unwanted provocation to Russia's Vladimir Putin. "That's an invitation to Putin to poke and prod and test our resolve, and we don't want to have to face that."
Maine formed a bond with the tiny Balkan state in 2006 related to disaster relief. Maine Gov. Paul LePage recently returned from a four-day visit to the country and says those partnerships have expanded to include culture and economics.