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U.S. President-elect Donald Trump speaks during a press conference in Trump Tower, Manhattan, New York, U.S., January 11, 2017. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

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LONDON (Reuters) - U.S. President-elect Donald Trump said NATO was obsolete because it had not defended against terror attacks, but that the military alliance was still very important to him, The Times of London reported.

“I took such heat, when I said NATO was obsolete," Trump told the newspaper in an interview. "It’s obsolete because it wasn’t taking care of terror. I took a lot of heat for two days. And then they started saying Trump is right."

Trump added that many NATO members were not paying their fair share for U.S. protection.

“A lot of these countries aren’t paying what they’re supposed to be paying, which I think is very unfair to the United States," Trump said. "With that being said, NATO is very important to me. There’s five countries that are paying what they’re supposed to. Five. It’s not much."

(Reporting by William James, editing by Guy Faulconbridge)

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