WASHINGTON, July 21 (Xinhua) -- U.S. Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump said that the United States has no right to lecture other countries when it faces a mess back home, a newspaper reported Thursday.
The United States has to "fix our own mess" before trying to alter the behavior of other nations, Trump told The New York Times in an interview on the eve of accepting the nomination at the Republican National Convention (RNC) held in Cleveland, Ohio.
"I don't think we have a right to lecture," Trump said. "How are we going to lecture when people are shooting policemen in cold blood?"
He was referring to the latest two shootings in which eight police officers were killed and a dozen others were wounded by two black gunmen, apparently in retaliation for the killings of two black men by police in the states of Louisiana and Minnesota. These incidents have sparked angry protests across the nation amid rising racial tensions.
Previewing his speech for the RNC Thursday night, Trump said the rest of the world would learn to adjust to his foreign policy that will be vastly different from the traditions of the Republican Party since World War II, The New York Times reported.
Trump said that he would prefer to be able to continue existing agreements only if allies stopped taking advantage of what he called an era of American largesse that was no longer affordable, according to the Times.
In the interview, the brash billionaire repeatedly defined American global interests almost purely in economic terms.
He even called into question whether he, if elected, would automatically extend the U.S. security guarantees for the NATO allies.
When asked whether he would come to the aid of the Baltic States in the NATO if they were attacked by Russia, Trump said he would decide whether to come to their aid only after reviewing whether those nations "have fulfilled their obligations to us."
"If they fulfill their obligations to us, the answer is yes," he added.
Trump also said he was prepared to scrap the North American Free Trade Agreement with Mexico and Canada if he could not negotiate radically better terms, the Times reported.
The deployment of American troops abroad, while preferable, was not necessary, Trump said.
If needed, the United States could always deploy troops from American soil, which "will be a lot less expensive," he was quoted as saying.
Commenting on the attempted military coup in Turkey that stained U.S.-Turkey ties as Ankara blamed the coup on a Turkish cleric living in the United States, Trump praised Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for "being able to turn that around."
Different from the Obama administration, Trump did not call on Turkey to respect the rule of law in a massive post-coup crackdown and purge of the military.
"When the world sees how bad the United States is and we start talking about civil liberties, I don't think we are a very good messenger," he said in the Times interview.
Trump called Syrian President Bashar al-Assad "a bad man," but said that the terror group Islamic State poses a far greater threat to the United States.
The Republican nominee also vowed to fund a major military buildup, starting with a modernization of the U.S. nuclear arsenal. "We have a lot of obsolete weapons," he told the Times.