White House National Security Adviser John Bolton said Wednesday the U.S. decision to withdraw from the United Nations Human Rights Council was "decades in the making" and "clearly the right decision."
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley announced the decision to withdraw from the council on Tuesday. They cited the membership of known human rights abusers like China, Cuba, and Venezuela on the council, its fixation on condemning Israel and its inability or lack of desire to condemn true wrongdoers.
"This decision in many respects has been decades in the making," Bolton said on "Fox and Friends," calling the council a place where human rights were a priority. "It's clearly the right decision to get off. It's the right decision to defund the Human Rights Council."
Bolton said the U.S. was self-governing and didn't need advice from the U.N. or other international bodies on how to run itself. He noted he voted against creating the council when he served as U.N. Ambassador during the George W. Bush administration.
From 2006 to 2016, the Human Rights Council condemned Israel 68 times. In comparison, it condemned Syria 20 times and Iran six times.
"Israel is, as the saying goes, a canary in the mineshaft for the United States," Bolton said. "Countries that attack Israel do it because they think it's easier, but much of their criticism is really aimed at us."
Speaking about the decision Tuesday night, Pompeo called the organization a "poor defender of human rights."
"Worse than that, the Human Rights Council has become an exercise in shameless hypocrisy with many of the world's worst human rights abuses going ignored and some of the world's most serious offenders sitting on the Council itself," he said.
Haley said the Human Rights Council "damages the cause of human rights."
"For too long, the Human Rights Council has been a protector of human rights abusers and a cesspool of political bias … The Council ceases to be worthy of its name," she said.