Trump on border
PHOTO: CNN
Trump on border
Now playing
01:36
Trump cutting aid to Central American countries
Sen. Bernie Sanders AC360 intv 02262021
PHOTO: CNN via Cisco Webex
Sen. Bernie Sanders AC360 intv 02262021
Now playing
03:54
Sanders on what happens with proposed minimum wage increase now
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 17: The U.S. Capitol dome is seen beyond a security fence on January 17, 2021 in Washington, DC. After last week
PHOTO: Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 17: The U.S. Capitol dome is seen beyond a security fence on January 17, 2021 in Washington, DC. After last week's riots at the U.S. Capitol Building, the FBI has warned of additional threats in the nation's capital and in all 50 states. According to reports, as many as 25,000 National Guard soldiers will be guarding the city as preparations are made for the inauguration of Joe Biden as the 46th U.S. President. (Photo by Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images)
Now playing
02:33
This is what's in the $1.9 trillion coronavirus package
PHOTO: CNN
Now playing
02:24
Acosta corrects CPAC organizer: Trump did lose the election
Now playing
01:23
See what happened when CPAC organizers asked crowd to wear masks
Now playing
02:00
Hear Tapper's 'uncomfortable question' for Biden
Now playing
01:10
Rand Paul slams transgender health nominee over puberty suppression
PHOTO: CNN
Now playing
02:39
Republicans push new restrictive election bills in 43 states
van jones minimum wage
van jones minimum wage
Now playing
02:44
Van Jones: This is a make or break issue for Democrats
US President Joe Biden speaks about the 50 million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine shot administered in the US during an event commemorating the milestone in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building in Washington, DC, February 25, 2021. (Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP) (Photo by SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images)
PHOTO: Saul Loeb/AFP/etty Images
US President Joe Biden speaks about the 50 million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine shot administered in the US during an event commemorating the milestone in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building in Washington, DC, February 25, 2021. (Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP) (Photo by SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images)
Now playing
02:28
Axelrod explains the message Biden is sending with strike
WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 13: Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) walks from his office to the Senate Chamber for the fifth day of former President Donald Trump
PHOTO: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 13: Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) walks from his office to the Senate Chamber for the fifth day of former President Donald Trump's impeachment trial at the U.S. Capitol on February 13, 2021 in Washington, DC. House impeachment managers asked the senate Saturday for the ability to question witnesses as part of the trial. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Now playing
02:07
McConnell says he'd support Trump as GOP nominee
The Pentagon, the headquarters of the US Department of Defense, located in Arlington County, across the Potomac River from Washington, DC is seen from the air January 24, 2017.  / AFP PHOTO / Daniel SLIM        (Photo credit should read DANIEL SLIM/AFP via Getty Images)
PHOTO: Daniel Slim/Getty Images
The Pentagon, the headquarters of the US Department of Defense, located in Arlington County, across the Potomac River from Washington, DC is seen from the air January 24, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / Daniel SLIM (Photo credit should read DANIEL SLIM/AFP via Getty Images)
Now playing
05:24
US carries out airstrikes on Iran-backed militia groups
The exterior of the U.S. Capitol building is seen at sunrise on February 8, 2021 in Washington, DC. The Senate is scheduled to begin the second impeachment trial of former U.S. President Donald J. Trump on February 9.
PHOTO: Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images
The exterior of the U.S. Capitol building is seen at sunrise on February 8, 2021 in Washington, DC. The Senate is scheduled to begin the second impeachment trial of former U.S. President Donald J. Trump on February 9.
Now playing
01:57
Senate parliamentarian rules against minimum wage increase in relief bill
Now playing
03:56
Marjorie Taylor Greene's challenger explains decision to run
PHOTO: CNN
Now playing
03:44
Acting US Capitol Police chief explains 'operational challenges' from January 6 riot
Rep. Marie Newman (D-IL) speaks with CNN
PHOTO: CNN
Rep. Marie Newman (D-IL) speaks with CNN's Alisyn Camerota.
Now playing
07:17
Lawmaker reacts to Rep. Taylor Greene's tweet on her transgender daughter
(CNN) —  

The United States is cutting off aid to the Northern Triangle, otherwise known as the Central American countries of El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, the State Department told CNN Saturday, one day after President Donald Trump said they had “set up” migrant caravans for entry into the United States.

“We were paying them tremendous amounts of money. And we’re not paying them anymore. Because they haven’t done a thing for us. They set up these caravans,” Trump said Friday.

“At the Secretary’s instruction, we are carrying out the President’s direction and ending FY 2017 and FY 2018 foreign assistance programs for the Northern Triangle,” a State Department spokesperson said. “We will be engaging Congress as part of this process.”

The government of Honduras responded to the announcement later Saturday, blaming “contradictory policies” by US agencies for the move.

Officials in Tegucigalpa said they would continue working with El Salvador and Guatemala on the Northern Triangle initiatives while “internal discrepancies over regional cooperation are resolved.”

The Honduran government also emphasized its “solid and positive” bilateral relationship with the United States, adding that relations between both countries were strengthened this past week when Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez and US national security adviser John Bolton met at the White House.

Wednesday, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen signed what she called a “first of its kind” regional compact agreement with the Northern Triangle countries aimed at preventing irregular migration, combating criminal organizations and ultimately helping with US border security.

Trump threatened to cut off or substantially reduce aid to the Northern Triangle before saying in an October tweet the countries “were not able to do the job of stopping people from leaving their country and coming illegally to the US.”

But experts have said cutting off aid is likely to increase the number of migrants leaving the countries and heading for the United States.

According to the US Global Leadership Coalition, comprising retired diplomats, military leaders and members of Congress, aid programs in the three countries are working to address the “root causes of violence” in order to “promote opportunity and security for their citizens.”

Officials would not say exactly how much money would be affected by the directive with some of it likely already spent. Between last year and this year, about $1.3 billion was allocated to the region, with the vast majority of it going to those three countries, according to a study from the Congressional Research Service.