President-elect Donald Trump continued to berate the United Nations on Wednesday, saying the organization is causing problems rather than solving them and that it will be “a waste of time and money” if it doesn’t start living up to its potential.
Trump was asked by a reporter if he wants the United States to leave the 71-year-old institution. The president-elected stopped short of endorsing such a move but heaped additional criticism on an organization that two days earlier he said had become “just a club for people to get together, talk and have a good time.”
“There is such tremendous potential, but it is not living up,” Trump told reporters at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Fla. “When do you see the United Nations solving problems? They don't. They cause problems.”
“So, if it lives up to the potential, it's a great thing,” Trump added. “And if it doesn't, it's a waste of time and money.”
Trump has been harshly critical of the U.N. in the wake of last week’s adoption of a Security Council resolution condemning Israeli settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. Trump had advocated for the United States to block the move.
Instead, President Obama instructed U.N. Ambassador Samantha Power to abstain from voting, on the grounds that the Israeli government’s continued support for expanding Jewish settlements in Palestinian territory could undermine any prospect of eventually reaching a two-state solution to the simmering conflict.
Secretary of State John F. Kerry elaborated on the Obama administration’s position during a speech on Wednesday.