The United States announced a $285 million cut in the United Nations’ “bloated” budget for next year, negotiated by UN Ambassador Nikki Haley. A statement by the United States Mission to the United Nations reads:
Today, the United Nations agreed on a budget for the 2018-2019 fiscal year. Among a host of other successes, the United States negotiated a reduction of over $285 million off the 2016-2017 final budget. In addition to these significant cost savings, we reduced the UN’s bloated management and support functions, bolstered support for key U.S. priorities throughout the world, and instilled more discipline and accountability throughout the UN system.
Pleased with the cuts, Haley added “you can be sure we’ll continue to look at ways to increase the UN’s efficiency while protecting our interests.”
The move follows a contentious week at the U.N., after 128 nations voted in a “stunning rebuke” of President Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Prior to the vote, Trump threatened to cut foreign financial aid to any countries who opposed the move – first with a tweet by Ambassador Nikki Haley threatening that the US would be “taking names,” followed by comments made by Trump to reporters last Tuesday, according to Reuters.
U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday threatened to cut off financial aid to countries that vote in favor of a draft United Nations resolution against his 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,” Trump told reporters at the White House.
Haley also circulated a letter to all UN member states effectively warning them not to vote against Trump’s decision. “As you consider your vote, I want you to know that the President and U.S. take this vote personally,” she wrote. “The President will be watching this vote carefully and has requested I report back on those countries who voted against us.”
As we now know, this accomplished absolutely nothing:
As we wrote last week, The outcome of the vote was hailed as a “victory” by Palestine. “We will continue our efforts in the United Nations and at all international forums to put an end to this occupation and to establish our Palestinian state with east Jerusalem as its capital,” Abbas’ spokesman Nabil Abu Rudainah said. Predictably, both Israel and the US were displeased.
The General Assembly vote came days after the U.S. vetoed a similar resolution in the U.N. Security Council. The panel’s other 14 members voted in favor of that measure – a move that Haley called an “insult” to the U.S. Shortly after the Security Council vote, Arab and Muslim leaders at U.N. called for an emergency special session of the General Assembly to discuss the U.S.’s Jerusalem decision.
In a defiant speech ahead of the General Assembly vote on Thursday, Riyad Al Maliki, the Palestinian foreign affairs minister, cast the Trump administration’s Jerusalem decision as an affront on regional peace and security that has isolated the U.S. from the international community. “Does the United States not wonder why it stands isolated in this position?” he asked.
Turkey, which has led the Muslim opposition to the US Jerusalem declaration, was among the first to speak at the meeting. Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu stressed that only a two-state solution and sticking to the 1967 borders can be a foundation for a lasting peace between Israel and Palestine. The minister said that since Jerusalem is the cradle for the “three monotheistic religions,” all of humanity should come together to preserve the status quo.
“The recent decision of a UN member state to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel violates the international law, including all relevant UN resolutions. This decision is an outrageous assault on all universal values,” Cavusoglu said.
The United States contributes approximately 22 percent of the U.N. budget – or around $3.3 billion, which President Trump asked the State Department to cut by over 50% in March.
U.S. officials in Washington and New York learned during the past week that they will be asked to find ways to cut spending on obligatory and voluntary U.N. programs by 50 to 60 percent from the International Organization Affairs Bureau’s account. State Department officials, for instance, were told that they should try to identify up to $1 billion in cuts in the U.N. peacekeeping budget, according to one source. The United States provides about $2.5 billion per year to fund peacekeepers. -Foreign Policy
U.S. diplomats warned key U.N. members during a March 9 meeting in New York to “expect a big financial restraint” on American spending – which is not surprising following President Trump’s comments from last December:
Ambassador Haley was clear in her comments after the budget cut, telling the press “We will no longer let the generosity of the American people be taken advantage of or remain unchecked,” adding “This historic reduction in spending – in addition to many other moves toward a more efficient and accountable UN – is a big step in the right direction.
Facebook Fired Pro-Trump & Anti Hillary Founder of Oculus
Every so often, Silicon Valley’s virtue-signaling, shadowbanning, anti-conservative media titans appear in Congress or devise a quick PR campaign to show to the world just how truly impartial they are with zero liberal bias. And every single time it backfires as their true ideological face quickly emerges from behind a fake, hypocritical mask.
Take the case of former Facebook executive, Oculus co-founder and virtual-reality wunderkind Palmer Luckey, who was a rising star of Silicon Valley when, at the height of the 2016 presidential contest, he donated a modest $10,000 to an anti-Hillary Clinton group. His donation sparked a backlash from his colleagues, which then led to him being put on leave, and six months later he was fired.
What is odd about Luckey’s termination, is that when testifying before Congress about data privacy earlier this year, Mark Zuckerberg denied, or rather lied that the departure had anything to do with politics. In fact, neither Facebook nor Mr. Luckey ever said why he left the social-media giant.
Until now: according to a report from the WSJ, Luckey told people the reason for his termination from that bastion of apolitical impartiality Facebook, was his support for Donald Trump and the furor that his political beliefs sparked within his employer, and Silicon Valley, some of those people say.
Maxine Waters Wants Trump To Keep His Mouth Shut
As Democrats prepare to let the subpoenas fly early next year, Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA.), who is preparing to become the first black female chairwoman of the House Financial Services Committee in January, reiterated her vow to investigate President Trump’s ties to Deutsche Bank – which she called “one of the biggest money laundering banks in the world” – during an interview with AM Joy, adding that “it’s one of the big issues that we will be working on.”
During the wide-ranging interview, Waters also blasted President Trump’s threats to revoke federal funding from California, saying she wished he would “keep his mouth shut” when it comes to all issues pertaining to her home state (while offering no substantive response to Trump’s criticisms of harmful forest-management policies that have exacerbated the fires).
Ultimately, Maxine said, Trump and his fellow Republicans attack her because they’re afraid of having a “strong, black woman” in charge of the financial services committee.
“That’s the opposition talking about what would happen if this strong, black woman Maxine Waters is the chair of the Financial Services Committee,” Waters said, becoming animated.
“They’ve never seen anybody like me before. There’s never been a woman in the history of this country that’s been the chairperson of the Financial Services Committee, and certainly never a black woman.”
Circling back to Waters’ response to Trump, the congresswoman, who was one of the targets of several attempted mail bombings last month, accused Trump of being “clueless” about issues of “poor management” and that he was talking about something he has “no knowledge of”.
Judge To Mueller: Prove It
A Washington federal judge on Thursday ordered special counsel Robert Mueller’s team to clarify election meddling claims lodged against a Russian company operated by Yevgeny Prigozhin, an ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, according to Bloomberg.
Concord Management and Consulting, LLC. – one of three businesses indicted by Mueller in February along with 13 individuals for election meddling, surprised the special counsel in April when they actually showed up in court to fight the charges. Mueller’s team tried to delay Concord from entering the case, arguing that thee Russian company not been properly served, however Judge Dabney Friedrich denied the request – effectively telling prosecutors ‘well, they’re here.’
Concord was accused in the indictment of supporting the Internet Research Agency (IRA), a Russian ‘troll farm’ accused of trying to influence the 2016 US election.
On Thursday, Judge Freidrich asked Mueller’s prosecutors if she should assume they aren’t accusing Concord of violating US laws applicable to election expenditures and failure to register as a foreign agent.
Concord has asked Dabney to throw out the charges – claiming that Mueller’s office fabricated a crime, and that there is no law against interfering in elections.