Donald Trump Threatens to Cut Aid to Countries That Vote Against the U.S. on Jerusalem

President Donald Trump threatens to cut off aid to any and all countries that vote in favor of a draft resolution before the United Nations, which calls for the United States to withdraw its decision to recognize the religiously-divided city of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. On Wednesday, Trump spoke to reporters at the White House:

“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,” Trump told reporters at the White House.

At the request of Arab and Muslim member countries, led by Turkey and Yemen, the 193-member United Nations General Assembly will hold an emergency special session today to vote on the draft resolution. The United States vetoed the draft resolution on Monday in a meeting of the 15-member U.N. Security Council. The other 14 countries comprising the Security Council voted in favor of the Egyptian-drafted resolution.

While the draft resolution does not name Trump nor the United States, it does express “deep regret at recent decisions concerning the status of Jerusalem.” It also calls on the General Assembly to declare Trump’s move to place the United States-Israel embassy in Jerusalem as “null and void.”

On Tuesday, United States Ambassador Nikki Haley penned a letter to several U.N. countries, essentially warning that she will be reporting back to Trump with the names of those who support the draft resolution. Haley writes:

“As you consider your vote, I encourage you to know the president and the US take this vote personally.” She continues: “The president will be watching this vote carefully and has requested I report back on those who voted against us.”

That same day, Haley echoed Trump and her own letter in a Twitter post:

At the UN we’re always asked to do more & give more. So, when we make a decision, at the will of the American ppl, abt where to locate OUR embassy, we don’t expect those we’ve helped to target us. On Thurs there’ll be a vote criticizing our choice. The US will be taking names.

Then on Wednesday, Haley issued a follow-up Tweet, where she once more echoed the president’s threat: “Let them vote against us, we’ll save a lot.”

Several senior U.N. diplomats are not concerned that Trump’s and Haley’s threats will persuade any votes in the General Assembly. Instead, they suggest that the warnings are more likely meant to impress U.S. voters — giving them something to remember the next time they are at the polls.

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