Factbox: What Trump has said about the United Nations

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump delivered his first speech before the United Nations on Tuesday, touting U.S. sovereignty and threatening to “totally destroy” North Korea.

U.S. President Donald Trump toasts during a luncheon hosted by the Secretary General of the United Nations in New York, U.S., September 19, 2017. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

Trump has been critical of the United Nations and complained about the cost to the United States of helping to fund the 193-nation body. Below are some comments he has made about it over the years.

Remarks at luncheon hosted by U.N. Secretary General

September 19, 2017

“For years I’ve been a critic, but I’ve also been somebody that said that the United Nations has tremendous potential.”

Remarks at U.N. General Assembly

September 19, 2017

“Too often the focus of this organization has not been on results, but on bureaucracy and process.”

“The United States is one out of 193 countries in the United Nations, and yet we pay 22 percent of the entire budget and more. In fact, we pay far more than anybody realizes.”

Remarks at lunch with U.N. Security Council Ambassadors

April 24, 2017

“I also want to say to you that I have long felt the United Nations is an underperformer but has tremendous potential. There are those people that think it’s an underperformer and will never perform.”


Dec. 26, 2016

“The United Nations has such great potential but right now it is just a club for people to get together, talk and have a good time. So sad!”

American Israel Public Affairs Committee speech

March 21, 2016

“Which brings me to my next point, the utter weakness and incompetence of the United Nations. The United Nations is not a friend of democracy, it’s not a friend to freedom, it’s not a friend even to the United States of America where, as you know, it has its home. And it surely is not a friend to Israel.”


Oct. 3, 2012

“The cheap 12 inch sq. marble tiles behind speaker at UN always bothered me. I will replace with beautiful large marble slabs if they ask me.”


Sept. 8, 2011

“Why is the UN planning to attack @Israel’s sovereignty and ignore Iran’s nuclear program? The US should look at future funding.”

Senate committee hearing on renovation of U.N. headquarters

July 21, 2005

“I am a big fan, a very big fan of the United Nations and all it stands for. I cannot speak as to what has been happening over the last number of years because it certainly has not been good, but the concept of the United Nations ... is very important to me and very important to the world as far as I am concerned.”

Reporting by Ayesha Rascoe; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn and James Dalgleish