Sen. Mitt Romney ripped the Trump administration's decision to move thousands of U.S. troops out of Germany as a "grave error" that will weaken any ability to respond to threats in Europe.
"The plan outlined by the administration today to remove thousands of U.S. troops from Germany is a grave error," said Romney in a statement. "It is a slap in the face at a friend and ally when we should instead be drawing closer in our mutual commitment to deter Russian and Chinese aggression. And it is a gift to Russia coming at a time when we just have learned of its support for the Taliban and reports of bounties on killing American troops."
"The move may temporarily play well in domestic politics, but its consequences will be lasting and harmful to American interests," Romney continued.
The Pentagon announced Wednesday the plan to move 12,000 troops out of Germany. About 6,400 will be brought home while the remaining 5,400 will shift to other countries in Europe. The move reportedly will cost billions of dollars and take years to complete.
President Donald Trump said the move was fueled by his displeasure that Germany is not spending more on defense.
"They take advantage of us on trade, and they take advantage of us on the military," said Trump to reporters on Wednesday.
"We're reducing the force because they're not paying their bills. It's very simple. They're delinquent," he added.
About 25,000 American troops would remain in Germany.