White House objects to UN calling US 'deadbeat' donor

March 12, 2009 21:17


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The White House on Thursday took offense at UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's comment that the United States is a "deadbeat" donor to the world body. Press secretary Robert Gibbs said Thursday that Ban's word choice was "unfortunate," given that the US is the largest contributor to the United Nations. The US pays 22 percent of the organization's nearly $5 billion operating budget, but is perennially late paying its dues. Ban used the 'deadbeat' phrase Wednesday during a private meeting with US lawmakers, having met with US President Barack Obama on Tuesday. Asked whether Ban should retract his comment, Gibbs said it would be appropriate for Ban to acknowledge the American taxpayers' role.

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