Wednesday, April 18, 2018

UN ambassador Nikki Haley undercut by Trump

The essence is this. (1) Nikki Haley, Ambassador to the UN, was told of the administration’s intent to impose additional sanctions on Russia. (2) She said that publicly. (3) Trump blew up and said he was not ready to do that. (4) Haley was then accused of “momentary confusion” by Larry Kudlow. (5) Haley said she does not get confused. (6) Kudlow apologized. You can read the details in Sanctions Flap Erupts Into Open Conflict Between Haley and White House.

All that leaves me with the suspicion that Haley is likely to be the next member of the administration to be fired resign. Trump has once again done damage to the nation’s credibility by doing dirt to a member of his team. If my boss had ever done that to me, I would have quit in a heartbeat. That behavior would have undercut my own credibility with my audience and have destroyed my trust in my boss.

Kudlow’s subsequent comments just serve to reinforce the impression of Trump’s White House as being dysfunctional.

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

The argument that Ms. Haley had merely gotten out ahead of a decision was undercut by the fact that the White House itself had sent out word to surrogates on Saturday — the day before her remarks — letting them know that it had already decided to take punitive action against Moscow.

Check out the Times’ report for evidence that this flip-flop might be due to Trump’s insecurity and fear of Haley.

[Representative Gerald E. Connolly, Democrat of Virginia and a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee] … described her as an important counterpoint to Mr. Trump. “She’s been a little island of some sanity in this otherwise dysfunctional, irrational, volatile White House when it comes to foreign policy,” he said. “She’s now getting the Tillerson treatment. And so perhaps this island will be swallowed up by rising sea levels.”

“It damages her credibility going forward and once again makes everyone, friend and foe alike, wonder that when the United States says something, approves something, calls for something, opposes something, is it for real?” [Connolly] said. “Should we wait to see what Trump does the next day?”

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