Trump to tout nationalism in UN address: ‘If you want democracy, hold on to your sovereignty’
President Trump on Tuesday will tout the importance of national sovereignty in his speech to the U.N. General Assembly, calling for other nations to "love" and stand up for their countries while promising to defend America’s interests abroad.
“If you want freedom, take pride in your country,” he will say, according to excerpts from his speech released by the White House. “If you want democracy, hold on to your sovereignty. If you want peace, love your nation.”
Trump, who has centered his presidency around an “America First” agenda, used his 2017 and 2018 addresses to defend and promote the importance of national sovereignty -- a message that clashes with the more globalist outlook of the world body.
Those values have frequently been criticized at the U.N., particularly his emphasis on securing America’s borders. On Tuesday he will anticipate and respond to the criticism that the U.S. is breaching human rights by cracking down on illegal immigration.
“When you undermine border security you are undermining human rights and human dignity,” he will say.
He will also use the speech to address the ongoing trade war with China, saying that at the heart of his vision is “an ambitious campaign to reform international trade.
“For decades, the international trading system has been easily exploited by nations acting in bad faith,” he is expected to say. “As jobs were outsourced, a small handful grew wealthy at the expense of the middle class.”
He is also likely to address the growing international tensions with Iran in his speech, which will mark the centerpiece of the day's events at the U.N. He will tell delegates that the U.S. does not seek conflict with other nations but that “I will never fail to defend America’s interests.”
He was given a boost on his hardline stance with Iran on Monday when Britain, France and Germany joined the U.S. in blaming Iran for attacks earlier this month on key oil facilities in Saudi Arabia. They said in a statement that “there is no other plausible explanation” than that “Iran bears responsibility for this attack.”
The move marks a significant win for the U.S., which has been trying to rally European nations to its side in its “maximum pressure” campaign against Tehran. Last year it pulled out of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, despite criticism from allies that had signed onto the pact.
The U.S. has since imposed continued waves of sanctions, including on Iran’s central bank last week. Trump said last week in the Oval Office that Iran could stop the sanctions if it would stop supporting terrorism.
“All they end to do is stop with the terror. They've been...the number one country worldwide of terror between sponsoring terror and doing it themselves, and we can’t have it,” he said.
Trump has left the door open to meeting with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani at the General Assembly this week.
“We’ll see what happens,” he told reporters Monday.
Fox News' John Roberts and Frank Miles contributed to this report.