The White House has come under increasing pressure to clarify its response to the deadly white nationalist rally in Charlottesville.
After days of speculation and debate, President Donald Trump announced Thursday that the US was withdrawing from a United Nations convention aimed at keeping peace in the Middle East and is sending a message to Iran.
The move comes amid calls for President Donald J. Trump to condemn white nationalists who gathered in Charlottesville to protest a planned removal of a Confederate statue.
The president’s statement came hours after the United Nations General Assembly voted to condemn the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia.
“I just want to take this opportunity to say very clearly, there was no place for this on our nation,” Trump said.
The US withdrawal comes after Trump announced his intention to “make a final decision on withdrawing from the United Nation’s Human Rights Council and the Human Rights Commission.”
“There are many groups in our country that are sick and tired of hearing how much we are losing with the United States, losing jobs and losing so much,” Trump added.
Trump, who had made his position clear in a statement, did not specifically address the Charlottesville rally.
The decision was expected after the UN vote, which was held on Thursday night.
“Our hearts go out to all those affected by the senseless violence in Virginia, and our thoughts and prayers are with all those involved,” Trump told reporters after the vote.
In a tweet, Trump said, “We will be discussing a withdrawal from the UN Human Rights, Human Rights Commissionerate, and Human Rights Commissioners.
They are a disgrace to our great country.”
On Friday, the White Senate voted to suspend the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program for 120 days, suspending an entire year of federal funding for refugees who came from Iran, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Libya, Somalia, and Yemen.
The Senate also voted to revoke Trump’s waiver to temporarily lift sanctions on Iran and block the sale of U.N. weapons to Iran until the Trump administration approves new sanctions.
“It is time for the administration to be clear about the true source of its unhappiness,” Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) said in a Friday statement.
Corker, along with Sen. Bob Corker Robert (Bob) Phillips CorkerSenate panel approves $1.9 billion for flood-relief efforts Senate votes to approve $1 billion in FEMA aid to states hit by floods Trump’s tweets: US could cut off funding for UN unless Iran ‘immediately abides by terms’ MORE (R) of Tennessee, who voted against the resolution, said they were pleased with the White HOUSE decision.
“They’re not trying to push it.
They’re just trying to make sure that the world understands what we’re going to do,” Corker said on Fox News.
“If they had made that point, we would have passed it.
That’s why they’re trying to play politics.
They don’t want to hurt the president’s credibility.”
Trump’s statement on the vote also came amid calls to suspend sanctions against Iran.
“We’ll be discussing with our friends and allies the appropriate sanctions to impose on Iran,” Corker told reporters.
“The president has made clear that he is not prepared to negotiate, and we’re not prepared either to negotiate or to continue to have a nuclear agreement with Iran.”
Trump said Thursday that Iran’s “flagrant violation of the terms of our agreement” should lead to a “revisit” of the agreement.
“For the first time, we will be able to say that we have been consistent, we have respected the terms, we respect the spirit of our deal, and that’s something that’s never been done before,” Trump wrote on Twitter.
“Iran’s flagrant violation.
The time for empty threats is over.”
Earlier this week, Trump and Vice President Mike Pence Michael (Mike) Richard PenceTrump, Pence to hold first full Senate meeting on tax law in 2018 Trump, Pence deliver speech on tax bill Pence: ‘We need to make a decision about the Iran deal now’ MORE told The New York Times they wanted to “re-evaluate” the nuclear deal before any new sanctions could be imposed.
The White Houses statement on Thursday came amid pressure from Democrats to condemn Trump’s statements.
“This was an unmitigated tragedy and a horrific display of hatred,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer Charles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerTrump, GOP regain edge in Kavanaugh fight Democrats push back on using federal funds to bail out struggling homeowners Kavanaugh, accuser to testify Thursday ‘Sens.
Cotton and Capito want to hear from you about this’ MORE of New York and Sen. Ron Wyden Ronald (Ron) Lee WydenDems push back against using federal resources to bail ‘out struggling homeowners’ Senate Dems to vote on Kavanaugh GOP senators introduce bill to end public financing of political campaigns MORE (D-Ore.) said on Twitter Thursday.
“At the very least, we should have a clear statement from