Trump: UN is just a club for peo­ple to have a good time

‘So sad!’

Kuwait Times - - INTERNATIONAL -

Don­ald Trump is ques­tion­ing its ef­fec­tive­ness of the United Na­tions, say­ing it’s just a club for peo­ple to “have a good time,” af­ter the UN Se­cu­rity Coun­cil voted last week to con­demn Is­raeli set­tle­ments in the West Bank and east Jerusalem, The pres­i­dent-elect wrote Mon­day on Twit­ter that the UN has “such great po­ten­tial,” but it has be­come “just a club for peo­ple to get to­gether, talk and have a good time. So sad!”

On Fri­day, Trump warned, “As to the UN, things will be dif­fer­ent af­ter Jan 20th,” re­fer­ring to the day he takes of­fice. The de­ci­sion by the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion to ab­stain from Fri­day’s UN vote brushed aside Trump’s de­mands that the US ex­er­cise its veto and pro­vided a cli­max to years of icy re­la­tions with Is­rael’s lead­er­ship.

Char­ity in ques­tion

Mean­while, the bil­lion­aire busi­ness­man took to Twit­ter Mon­day evening to say he be­lieves his elec­tion as pres­i­dent has ben­e­fited the econ­omy. “The world was gloomy be­fore I won - there was no hope,” he said in a ver­i­fied post on his Twit­ter ac­count. “Now, the mar­ket is up nearly 10 per­cent and Christ­mas spend­ing is over a tril­lion dol­lars.” Mar­kets are up since Trump won the gen­eral elec­tion, al­though not quite by that much. The Stan­dard & Poor’s 500 is up about 6 per­cent since Elec­tion Day, while the Dow has risen more than 8 per­cent.

As for hol­i­day spend­ing, au­dit­ing and ac­count­ing firm Deloitte pro­jected in Septem­ber that to­tal 2016 hol­i­day sales were ex­pected to ex­ceed $1 tril­lion, rep­re­sent­ing a 3.6 per­cent to 4.0 per­cent in­crease in hol­i­day sales from Novem­ber through Jan­uary. Trump also used social media to com­plain anew about crit­i­cism of the Don­ald J Trump Foun­da­tion. In one post, he said, “The DJT Foun­da­tion, un­like most foun­da­tions, never paid fees, rent, salaries or any ex­penses. 100 % of the money goes to won­der­ful char­i­ties.”

He also tweeted that “I gave mil­lions of dol­lars to DJT Foun­da­tion, raised or re­ceived mil­lions more. ALL of which is given to char­ity, and media won’t re­port.” Trump had said Satur­day that he wanted to dis­solve his char­i­ta­ble foun­da­tion amid ef­forts to elim­i­nate any con­flicts of in­ter­est be­fore he takes of­fice next month.

He said in a state­ment that he has di­rected his coun­sel to take the nec­es­sary steps to im­ple­ment the dis­so­lu­tion of the Don­ald J Trump Foun­da­tion. The Demo­cratic Na­tional Com­mit­tee crit­i­cized him for what it called “a wilted fig leaf to cover up his re­main­ing con­flicts of in­ter­est and his piti­ful record of char­i­ta­ble giv­ing.”

A 2015 tax re­turn posted on the non­profit mon­i­tor­ing web­site GuideS­tar shows the Don­ald J Trump Foun­da­tion ac­knowl­edged that it used money or as­sets in vi­o­la­tion of IRS reg­u­la­tions - not only dur­ing 2015, but in prior years. Those reg­u­la­tions pro­hibit self-deal­ing by the char­ity. That’s broadly de­fined as us­ing its money or as­sets to ben­e­fit Trump, his fam­ily, his com­pa­nies or sub­stan­tial con­trib­u­tors to the foun­da­tion.

The tax fil­ing doesn’t pro­vide de­tails on the vi­o­la­tions. Whether Trump ben­e­fited from the foun­da­tion’s spend­ing has been the sub­ject of an in­ves­ti­ga­tion by New York At­tor­ney Gen­eral Eric Sch­nei­der­man. On the Mid­dle East, Trump told The As­so­ci­ated Press last De­cem­ber that he wanted to be “very neu­tral” on Is­rael-Pales­tinian is­sues. But his tone be­came de­cid­edly more pro-Is­rael as the pres­i­den­tial cam­paign pro­gressed. He has spo­ken dis­parag­ingly of Pales­tini­ans, say­ing they have been “taken over” by or are con­don­ing mil­i­tant groups.

Trump’s tweet Mon­day about the UN ig­nores much of the work that goes on in the 193-mem­ber global or­ga­ni­za­tion. This year the UN Se­cu­rity Coun­cil has ap­proved over 70 legally bind­ing res­o­lu­tions, in­clud­ing new sanc­tions on North Korea and mea­sures tack­ling con­flicts and au­tho­riz­ing the UN’s far-flung peace­keep­ing op­er­a­tions around the world. The Gen­eral Assem­bly has also ap­proved dozens of res­o­lu­tions on is­sues, like the role of di­a­monds in fu­el­ing con­flicts; con­demned hu­man rights abuses in Iran and North Korea; and au­tho­rized an in­ves­ti­ga­tion of al­leged war crimes in Syria.

Trump’s crit­i­cism of the UN is by no means unique. While the or­ga­ni­za­tion does en­gage in large-scale hu­man­i­tar­ian and peace­keep­ing ef­forts, its mas­sive bu­reau­cracy has long been a source of con­tro­versy. The or­ga­ni­za­tion has been ac­cused by some West­ern gov­ern­ments of being in­ef­fi­cient and friv­o­lous, while de­vel­op­ing na­tions have said it is overly in­flu­enced by wealth­ier na­tions. The pres­i­dent-elect is spend­ing the hol­i­days at his Mar-a-Lago re­sort in Florida. —AP

PALM BEACH: In this Dec 21, 2016, file photo, Pres­i­dent-elect Don­ald Trump speaks to mem­bers of the media at Mar-a-Lago. —AP

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Kuwait

© PressReader. All rights reserved.