President Trump delivered a stern threat in December, stating he would cut aid to countries that voted in the United Nations to condemn his decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. “Let them vote against us. We’ll save a lot,” Trump said.
Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley was even harsher, warning members of the international body that “the U.S. will be taking names” of those voting against it.
But the State Department’s budget request for 2019, sent to Congress on Monday, makes clear these were empty threats.
America’s foreign aid will continue to flow to nations that voted against the United States. The budget request does not include any cut in aid level baed on the U.N. vote or any other position on Trump’s Middle East policy.
“There’s nothing specific just tied to that because that is only one factor,” acknowledged the State Department’s director of foreign assistance, Hari Sastry, when pressed on the issue by reporters.
Analysts noted in December that Trump’s threat to cut aid would be hard to live up to due to America’s interest in supporting the aid-recipient countries regardless of their views on Israel.
Trump’s Empty Threat To Cut Aid Over Jerusalem Vote
Nathan Guttman, staff writer, was the Forward’s Washington bureau chief. He joined the staff in 2006 after serving for five years as Washington correspondent for the Israeli dailies Haaretz and The Jerusalem Post. In Israel, he was the features editor for Ha’aretz and chief editor of Channel 1 TV evening news. He was born in Canada and grew up in Israel. He is a graduate of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.