- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 30, 2018

President Trump doubled down Tuesday night on his vow to stop U.S. foreign aid from going to countries that stood against his recent decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and move the American embassy there from Tel Aviv.

During his first State of the Union address, Mr. Trump lamented that “dozens of countries voted in the United Nations General Assembly against America’s sovereign right to make this decision.”

“In 2016, American taxpayers generously sent those same countries more than $20 billion dollars in aid,” he said. “That is why, tonight, I’m asking the Congress to pass legislation to help ensure American foreign-assistance dollars always serve American interests — and only go to friends of America, not enemies of America.”

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The president did not explicitly say such legislation should block U.S. foreign aid to all 128 U.N. member nations who voted in December to approve a resolution condemning his recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

It was, however, implied in his comments, which came roughly five weeks after he said the United States would happily save money by cutting payments to the U.N. and to countries that failed to support his policy.

During the lead up to the U.N. General Assembly vote on the matter last month, Mr. Trump said his administration would be “watching” how different nations voted. “Let them vote against us,” he said at the time. “We’ll save a lot. We don’t care.”

While some 65 nations stood with Mr. Trump or took a pass during in the U.N. vote, those who voted against his policy ranged from traditional allies such as Britain, France, Germany and Japan to rival powers such as Russia and China and a host of Middle Eastern and Asian countries including Jordan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq that are the recipients of major U.S. aid, security and investment programs.

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