Haley slams United Nations, echoing Trump

Haley slams United Nations, echoing Trump
© Greg Nash

Nikki Haley, Donald TrumpDonald TrumpAt center of Qatar crisis, a billion ransom Chaffetz: Threats against lawmakers should be taken seriously Warren cautions Dems against infighting MORE’s pick for U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, on Wednesday blasted the UN Security Council's recent vote to condemn Israel, sharing the president-elect's skepticism about America’s large financial commitment to the world body.

During her Senate confirmation hearing, the Republican South Carolina governor labeled the December vote, made possible through an American abstention, as a “failure” by the UN.

Promising to "never abstain when the United Nations takes any action that comes in direct conflict with the interests and values of the United States," she went on to question why America shoulders 22 percent of the body’s budget.

“Nowhere has the UN's failure been more consistent and more outrageous than in its bias against our close ally Israel,” she said during opening remarks.

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“Any honest assessment also finds an institution that is often at odds with American national interests and American taxpayers … are we getting what we paid for?”

Haley is far from alone in her criticism of the vote, which drew bitter denouncements from Republicans and some Democrats, who accused President Obama of backstabbing one of America’s strongest allies.

It also prompted Republican Sens. Ted CruzTed CruzGOP at decisive moment on Planned Parenthood Trump: ‘I cannot imagine’ GOP senators don’t back healthcare bill Trump making calls to senators on healthcare bill MORE (Texas) and Lindsey GrahamLindsey GrahamSenate panel questions Lynch on alleged FBI interference The Hill's Whip List: Senate ObamaCare repeal bill Judiciary Committee to continue Russia probe after Mueller meeting MORE (S.C.) to pen a bill that would restrict American funding to the United Nations until that resolution is repealed.

Graham, Haley’s home-state senator, introduced her to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee along with fellow South Carolina Republican Sen. Tim ScottTim ScottThe Hill's Whip List: Senate ObamaCare repeal bill Lawmakers celebrate National Selfie Day on Twitter GOP senators pleased with Ivanka Trump meeting on family leave, child tax credits MORE.

Her skepticism of the UN echoes Trump, who blasted the institution as “obsolete” in an interview over the weekend. He previously called it a “waste of time and money” and “just a club for people to get together, talk and have a good time.”

He’s also sharply criticized the body since the December vote on Israel, promising changes once he takes office.

Haley did not go nearly as far as Trump, framing her mission as repairing America's standing in the body, which would help the country improve its standing in the world.

"At the UN, as elsewhere, the United States is the indispensable voice of freedom. It is time that we once again find that voice," she said, going on to call for "fundamental changes" at the UN.

Haley also sought during her remarks to preempt one of her largest stumbling blocks to a nomination.

While she’s considered a rising star within her party, she lacks the international experience of many of her predecessors who came to the position after careers in the Foreign Service.

Haley's experience is limited to South Carolina, first in the state legislature before the governor’s mansion.

“International diplomacy is a new area for me. There is much I am learning about the intricacies of the UN and its associated agencies … but diplomacy itself is not new to me,” she said.

“In fact, I would suggest there is nothing more important to a governor's success than her ability to unite those with different backgrounds, viewpoints and objectives behind a common purpose."