Tag Archives: Nikki Haley

Stand firm, Mme. U.N. Ambassador

United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley has laid down an important marker to Donald J. Trump.

Do not diss me in public; do not subject me to public humiliation; I will not take it quietly.

Haley, one of the few grownups in the Trump administration’s inner circle, spoke out recently in which she suggested the United States would impose additional sanctions on Russia as punishment for its complicity in the gassing of Syrian civilians.

Then she got her humiliation handed to her by Lawrence Kudlow, the president’s newly appointed national economics adviser. Kudlow suggested that Haley got “ahead of the curve” and might have suffered from some “confusion” over a policy that had been changed without her knowledge.

That is not tolerable to Haley. Nor should it be.

She has referred to Russian meddling in our 2016 presidential election an “act of warfare.” She has clashed with other senior Trump Cabinet officials. She has stood her ground.

But now she has drawn her own “red line,” letting the president know that she won’t stand for being called out in the manner she was by Kudlow.

I happen to be in Haley’s corner on this matter.

As this nation’s ambassador to the United Nations, she needs to be kept in the loop at all times on all policies being pondered by the Policy Maker in Chief … the president. Then again, the president needs to show at the very least a sliver of discipline as he blunders through this and/or that crisis, or makes this and/or that policy pronouncement.

Whenever he tweets a policy statement, only to take some or all of it back, the president puts the precious few grownups he has brought on board in a serious diplomatic pickle. Heaven knows that the president has brought damn few competent individuals on board.

One of them, Nikki Haley, deserved far better than she got.

‘I don’t get confused’

Chaos, anyone?

Yep, the Donald John Trump White House is showing its chaotic side once again.

United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley said out loud that the United States is planning to impose stronger sanctions against Russia as punishment for its complicity in the recent gas attack on Syrian civilians.

Not so fast, said the new national economics adviser, Lawrence Kudlow, who walked Haley’s comments back for her. According to the New York Times: “She got ahead of the curve,” Mr. Kudlow said. “She’s done a great job. She’s a very effective ambassador, but there might have been some momentary confusion about that.”

Told Dana Perino of Fox News, “I don’t get confused.”

There you have it. More chaos within what the president has called a “fine-tuned machine.”

Kudlow apologized to Haley for his remarks. I presume Ambassador Haley accepted his apology. Kudlow then said the policy had changed but no one apparently bothered to tell the U.N. ambassador.

As the Times reported: “As it turns out, she was basically following what she thought was policy,” Mr. Kudlow added. “The policy was changed and she wasn’t told about it, so she was in a box.”

Good grief, man! Nikki Haley has been talking tough about the Russians while the president keeps giving them a pass. Yes, the president ordered those air strikes against the Syrians — and I applaud him for that. He’s also beginning to speak with increasing harshness about Russian policy objectives.

He needs to walk the walk. Economic sanctions against Vladimir Putin and his henchman is one way to demonstrate that the president means what he says.

As for undercutting the nation’s U.N. ambassador, the White House needs to speak with a single voice.

Where is outrage over conventional weapons?

Chris Wallace has posed an perfectly legitimate question to United States ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley.

The “Fox News Sunday” host asked Haley this morning why the Trump administration is so willing to use military action against Syria when it uses chemical weapons on its citizens but doesn’t deliver such punishment when the Syrian government kills them with “conventional weapons.”

“That’s an unfair question,” Haley said in her initial response.

Actually, Mme. Ambassador, it’s a perfectly fair question and Wallace was correct to ask it.

For the record, Haley said the United States doesn’t tolerate the use of any weapons, but didn’t respond directly to Wallace’s query about whether the president views chemical weapon use differently than conventional weapon use.

I happen to support the decision to strike at Syria. I believe we responded correctly by aligning ourselves with France and Great Britain and hitting the Syrians in concert with our allies.

My belief now is that we need to reignite some intense diplomatic power to persuade the Syrians it clearly is in their best interests to call a halt to the slaughter in their country.

Oh, and while we’re at it, we also need to ratchet up the pressure on Russia and Iran to cease lending aid to a war criminal — Bashar al Assad — who happens to be the dictator who runs a ham-fisted government in Damascus.

So, here we are. We have pounded the Syrian chemical weapons infrastructure. Our forces reportedly delivered crippling damage to it. Ambassador Haley said the strikes have set back Syria’s chemical weapons program by many years.

What about those conventional weapons? When do we draw the “red line” when it involves the hideous use of those weapons on innocent victims?

Suck it up, Michael Wolff, and take the heat

I am well into Michael Wolff’s book “Fire and Fury” and am finding it an interesting and entertaining piece of work. Much of it rings true as well.

But when the author goes on these national TV talk shows to discuss some of the more, um, salacious elements of the book, he needs to prepare for the grilling he should expect to get.

He got grilled hard this week on MSNBC by “Morning Joe” co-host Mika Brzezinski, who wondered why he would suggest that U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley would be engaging in an affair with Donald John Trump.

Wolff took offense at the question. Brzezinski persisted, noting that he implies an alleged Haley-Trump “relationship” near the end of his book.

The back-and-forth continued for a few moments before Brzezinski shut the interview down.

Wolff defamed Haley, according to Brzezinski. Wolff decided to go after the MSBNC co-host in a series of tweets after his appearance on “Morning Joe.”

I won’t comment yet on “Fire and Fury,” as I have a good bit of it yet to read. I do object, though, to assertions he is making about our nation’s U.N. ambassador and the president. This is a serious head-scratcher, given the ubiquitous presence of cameras, recording devices and other gadgets that can detect any kind of, um, “suspicious” behavior.

As for the author’s inability or unwillingness to endure tough questioning from journalists, well, he needs to toughen up.

U.N. envoy now a victim

Nikki Haley might be the latest victim of a culture that many Americans are trying to eradicate.

She is the United States’ ambassador to the United Nations. Haley once served as the Republican governor of South Carolina, where she distinguished herself as a courageous enemy of race-related hate groups.

Donald J. Trump nominated her to the U.N. post, where she has continued to serve with distinction.

Now, though, comes a vicious rumor of an affair with the president. They originate from Michael Wolff, author of the controversial “Fire and Fury” book that is highly critical of the Trump administration.

What we are witnessing is a continuation of the kind of hideous gossip that follows high-achieving women. There are those who are too willing to foment lies about women, using sex as the weapon they deploy to defame them.

Ambassador Haley has been victimized in a highly disgraceful manner. We need to rid ourselves of this form of malice.

Military options? They’re quite limited, Mme. Ambassador

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley thinks our country’s options regarding North Korea’s continual belligerence include using our immense military power.

I, uh, beg to differ with the distinguished diplomat.

The North Koreans keep launching missiles to demonstrate their own military capability. They fire them over Japan, which has caused the Japanese to rethink their own military posture, which has been limited since the end of World War II.

If Haley is suggesting that the United States launch a first strike against North Korea, then I believe she is talking about an eminently dangerous and frightening outcome.

National security adviser H.R. McMaster insists the United States is still seeking a diplomatic solution. Do you think that would be far preferable a solution than to hit the North Koreans with some kind of tactical strike aimed at destroying its missile launchers or its nuclear weapons production plants? Uhh, yeah. I do!

‘Fire and fury.’

Let’s try to get into North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un’s skull for just a moment. Does the boy with the bad haircut really and truly believe he can survive any kind of frontal military assault from the world’s most powerful nation? Is he suicidal? I cannot pretend to know what is driving this clown’s nuclear ambition. However, I just cannot believe he intends to use his weapons against South Korea, or Japan or certainly against the United States of America.

The economic sanctions we have applied against North Korea are working. They’re strangling the reclusive country.

As for Ambassador Haley continuing to talk the talk about keeping the military option alive, I believe Kim has received the message, which is that we can blow him and his country to Kingdome Come.

Ivanka steps in … way over her head?

Ivanka Trump went to work over the weekend with her father, the president of the United States.

Why, she even got to sit at the grownups’ table during the G20 summit in Hamburg, Germany.

The presence of this unqualified individual at the table did not go unnoticed by many of Donald Trump’s fellow world leaders.

The custom at meetings such as this is for a head of state to summon a senior staffer or someone with some clout to sit in while “the boss” steps away. Does Ivanka fit that bill?

Does the first daughter have any expertise in, say, anything related to geopolitics or international economics? Let me think about that. Umm. No. None. Zero.

As Politico reported: “U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley defended the first daughter’s actions Saturday, stressing that she has focused on important issues like female entrepreneurship, poverty and famine.”

Politico went on: “‘She’s got her certain issues that she focuses on and when those things come up then that’s where she is,’ the ambassador said during an interview with CBS set to air Sunday, adding that the first daughter is ‘very well accepted nationally and internationally.'”

I think perhaps Ambassador Haley is spinning that just a bit.

Indeed, why couldn’t she have taken the president’s place at the table?

The president has placed far too much clout in his daughter’s hands. For that matter, he has done the same with Ivanka Trump’s husband, Jared Kushner, the young man with zero foreign policy experience but who now is entrusted to broker a Middle East peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians.

Good … grief!

Ivanka’s brief stint at the G20 meeting serves only to demonstrate — yet again! — that her father doesn’t know what he’s doing.

‘Everybody knows’ Russia meddled in election

Has the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations gone rogue? Is Nikki Haley speaking out of turn when she seems to dispute the president’s view of who hacked into our nation’s election in 2016?

Haley has said that “everybody knows that Russia meddled in our election.” She made the remarks in TV interviews to be broadcast Sunday.

Actually, Mme. Ambassador, while everybody may know that to be true, not quite everybody is willing to say so out loud, on the record, in public.

One of the more prominent officials who remains publicly unconvinced happens to be Donald J. Trump. Intelligence agencies have concluded the Russians meddled; politicians from both political parties have said the same thing.

The president? He keeps giving the Russians political cover by saying that “other countries” might have interfered, too. He met Russian President Vladimir Putin this week in Hamburg, Germany, and supposed “pressed” Putin on what the Russians did. Putin denied doing anything, as if he expects the rest of us to believe the word of a former communist KGB spy.

Haley has broken with Trump already on Russia. She has been harsh in her critique of Putin’s government, while the president continues to pull his punches.

Now she has said what just about the entire civilized world has come to accept: that the Russians sought to undermine our electoral process, that they in effect declared war on our system of government.

If only the president would concur.

UN envoy says what Trump should say … about Russia

Syrian dictator Bashar al Assad gassed citizens, killing dozens of them.

The president of the United States condemns Assad, as he should do; then he lays the blame for the attack on the inaction of former President Barack Obama.

Then in wades the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, to say what should be said: Russia is complicit in this heinous action and must be punished.

My question: Why, oh why, cannot Donald John Trump muster the guts to speak ill of Russia in this regard?

The president continues to remain mum on Russian misbehavior. He cannot admit in public that the Russians hacked into our election system; he cannot agree that Vladimir Putin is a “killer”; he keeps wishing for a more cooperative relationship with Russia.

But, wait, Mr. President. The Russian are bankrolling Assad’s murderous regime in Syria. They are funding the dictator’s ability to obtain the murderous weapons he uses on his citizens.

Ambassador Haley speaks out

The U.N. Security Council is considering a resolution to condemn the Russians over this attack. Russia is one of the five permanent council members and has the authority to veto any such resolution. Where is the president on this one? Will he condemn the Russians if they veto a resolution that seeks to slap additional sanctions on them?

Ambassador Haley said this, according to The Hill: “Russia has shielded Assad from U.N. sanctions. If Russia has the influence in Syria that it claims it has, we need to see them use it,” Haley said at an emergency meeting of the council. “We need to see them put an end to these horrific acts. How many more children have to die before Russia cares.”

Mr. President, it’s your turn now. It’s time for you to “tell it like it is” concerning Russia.

GOP governor draws angry fire … from Republicans

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South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley isn’t angry enough to suit some within what used to be known as the Republican Party.

No. She instead called on her party brethren to not listen to the “siren call of the angriest voices.” She offered that advice in her response on behalf of her party to President Obama’s State of the Union message delivered Tuesday night.

What was the reaction among the conservatives within her party?

Anger. Lots of it. Some of it, well, bordering on hateful.

Is this what the Grand Old Party has become? The party of intense, seething anger?

She aimed her fire, without mentioning him by name, at Donald J. Trump, the GOP frontrunner who has tapped into some vein of anger within his party. The call to ban all Muslims? That suits the Republican “base” just fine, irrespective of its being totally outside the principles on which this country was founded.

Haley sought to quell that kind of rhetoric in her GOP response. It was met with hostility.

This is a remarkable set of circumstances facing the Republican Party. It is about to commence its nominating process in just a little more than two weeks with the Iowa caucuses, followed immediately by the New Hampshire primary. Its leading candidate has stirred up some intense anger among the party’s most fervent voters.

Then the party — at the invitation of House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell — listens to Gov. Haley talk sensibly while offering criticism of the Democratic president’s vision . . . only to have its most conservative members go ballistic!

The Republican Party appears to be morphing into something few us recognize.