On Wednesday, President Trump threatened to cut off financial aid to U.N. member countries that vote in favor of a draft resolution that demands the United States withdraw its decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
“They take hundreds of millions of dollars and even billions of dollars, and then they vote against us. Well, we’re watching those votes. Let them vote against us. We’ll save a lot. We don’t care,” the president told reporters.
According to Reuters:
The 193-member U.N. General Assembly will hold a rare emergency special session on Thursday – at the request of Arab and Muslim countries – to vote on a draft resolution, which the United States vetoed on Monday in the 15-member U.N. Security Council.
The remaining 14 Security Council members voted in favour of the Egyptian-drafted resolution, which did not specifically mention the United States or Trump but which expressed “deep regret at recent decisions concerning the status of Jerusalem.”
U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley, in a letter to dozens of U.N. states on Tuesday seen by Reuters, warned that Trump had asked her to “report back on those countries who voted against us.”
“The U.S. will be taking names,” Haley said in a tweet.
Trump’s declaration prompted the Daily Wire’s Ben Shapiro to respond: “Okay, this is epic.”
— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) December 20, 2017
Miroslav Lajcak, president of the General Assembly, didn’t comment on Trump’s remarks, but said: “It’s the right and responsibility of member states to express their views.”
And it’s the right and the responsibility of the U.S. president to express his views and the views of many Americans.
Others appreciated Trump’s statement:
There are moments, like this one, that I actually appreciate having Donald Trump as President. They're few. But they exist. https://t.co/mkpVRwDDAw
— Emily Zanotti (@emzanotti) December 20, 2017
— Conrad Black (@ConradMBlack) December 20, 2017
Trump also expressed support for Haley’s comments: “I like the message that Nikki sent yesterday at the United Nations, for all those nations that take our money and then they vote against us at the Security Council, or they vote against us potentially at the assembly.”
Earlier this month, Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, a move that outraged Israel’s enemies and raised concern among Washington’s Western allies, Reuters said.
The president also intends to move the embassy to Jerusalem, a move promised by previous presidents of both political parties.
One person said:
My only Christmas wish is for this to happen. https://t.co/8JayvWOlUs
— Jaime (@noahsmom7) December 20, 2017
According to figures from the U.S. government’s aid agency USAID, in 2016 the United States provided some $13 billion in economic and military assistance to countries in sub-Saharan Africa and $1.6 billion to states in East Asia and Oceania.
It provided some $13 billion to countries in the Middle East and North Africa, $6.7 billion to countries in South and Central Asia, $1.5 billion to states in Europe and Eurasia and $2.2 billion to Western Hemisphere countries, according to USAID.
That could add up to over $37 billion in savings if Trump follows through.
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