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U.N. Human Rights Office Ready for Showdown With President Trump: Report

U.N. human rights officials, whose boss famously likened U.S. President-elect Donald Trump to ISIS, are reported to be gearing up for a four- or even eight-year battle with the new administration over Trump's "ghastly campaign pledges."

In a controversial speech in September, the U.N. high commissioner for human rights, Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein, lumped Trump in with right-wing European politicians like Geert Wilders of the Netherlands, Marine Le Pen of France, Czech President MiloŇ° Zeman and Nigel Farage, a prominent leader of the campaign to lead the United Kingdom out of the European Union.

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All seek "a past that most certainly, in reality, did not exist anywhere, ever," Ra'ad al-Hussein said in an address at The Hague. He called Trump and the others "clever cheats" who peddle "half-truths and oversimplification," something he said they have in common with ISIS.

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With Trump now elected president, Ra'ad al-Hussein has spread the word to the U.N. human rights office that it will have to lead international opposition to the United States, U.N. officials told the respected journal Foreign Policy.

"We are going to speak up," Foreign Policy quoted one of the officials as saying in an article published Tuesday. "It'll be rough, but if [Trump] puts any of those ghastly campaign pledges into action, we will condemn."

IMAGE: U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein
Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein, the U.N. high commissioner for human rights, at a news conference in February. Eranga Jayawardena / AP

Ra'ad al-Hussein courted controversy by condemning Trump during the presidential campaign. A month after the Hague speech, he called Trump's promises "deeply unsettling and disturbing" at a news briefing in Geneva.

"If Donald Trump is elected, on the basis of what he has said already, and unless that changes, I think it's without any doubt that he would be dangerous from an international point of view," he said.

Russia, another frequent target of the human rights office, lodged a formal complaint with the United Nations last month over Ra'ad al-Hussein's comments.

Ra'ad al-Hussein "is overstepping his limits from time to time, and we're unhappy about it," Vitaly Churkin, Russia's ambassador to the United Nations, told The Associated Press at the time. "He should stick to his file, which is important enough."