Trump suggests US will cut off aid for countries that vote for UN resolution

President TrumpDonald TrumpStowaway found in landing gear of plane after flight from Guatemala to Miami Kushner looking to Middle East for investors in new firm: report GOP eyes booting Democrats from seats if House flips MORE suggested on Wednesday that the United States could withhold foreign aid for countries that vote in favor of a United Nations (U.N.) resolution calling on the U.S. to withdraw its recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

Speaking at a Cabinet meeting, Trump echoed a comment made by U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki HaleyNikki HaleyGOP primary in NH House race draws national spotlight China's Xi likely to invite Biden to Beijing Olympics: report Nikki Haley calls for cognitive test for older politicians MORE a day earlier, saying that the U.S. would take stock of the countries that voted for the resolution, which is set to go before the U.N. General Assembly on Thursday.

"I like the message that Nikki sent yesterday at the United Nations for all of these nations that take our money and then they vote against us at the Security Council, or they vote against us potentially at the assembly," he said.


"They take hundreds of millions of dollars and even billions of dollars, and then they vote against us. Well, we're watching those votes," he added. "Let them vote against us, we’ll save a lot. We don't care."

The General Assembly is set to hold an emergency special session, requested by Arab members, on Thursday to discuss Trump's move to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. 

The vote on the resolution comes days after the U.S. vetoed a similar resolution in the U.N. Security Council. Unlike on the Security Council, however, the U.S. does not wield veto power in the General Assembly.

The resolution condemning the U.S. move is not legally binding. But its passage would be a symbolic rebuke of Trump's decision, and would exert political pressure on Washington. 

Haley blasted the upcoming resolution vote on Tuesday, saying in a tweet that the U.S. would be "taking names" of those countries that voted in support of the measure. 

In announcing earlier this month that the U.S. would recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and would begin the process of moving its embassy in Israel to the city, Trump reversed decades of U.S. policy in the region and defied international consensus on the matter.

Jerusalem is revered by Christians, Muslims and Jews, and Israel has long considered the city its capital. But Palestinians have also aspired to establish the eastern sector of the city as the capital of a future independent state, and the international community has generally held that Jerusalem's status must ultimately be decided in peace negotiations.

Trump's decision has threatened to derail peace talks between the Israelis and Palestinians, which he has vowed to broker and has called the "ultimate deal."

Trump said at the Cabinet meeting on Wednesday that Americans were "tired of this country being taken advantage of" by other nations willing to oppose the U.S. on the world stage.

"This isn’t like it used to be where they could vote against you, and then you pay them hundreds of millions of dollars and nobody knows what they're doing," he said.