Nikki Haley: 'Ridiculous' for UN to analyze poverty in America

Nikki Haley: 'Ridiculous' for UN to analyze poverty in America
© Getty

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki HaleyNimrata (Nikki) HaleyOvernight Defense: Trump tries to quell Russia furor | GOP looks to reassure NATO | Mattis open to meeting Russian counterpart Dem pollster: Haley would be 'very strong' presidential candidate Watchdog: First lady spokeswoman may have violated Hatch Act with ‘MAGA’ tweet MORE on Thursday dismissed a poverty report by the United Nations, saying it’s “ridiculous” for the intergovernmental body to analyze American poverty.

“It is patently ridiculous for the United Nations to examine poverty in America,” Haley said in a letter to Sen. Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersElection Countdown: Senate, House Dems build cash advantage | 2020 Dems slam Trump over Putin presser | Trump has M in war chest | Republican blasts parents for donating to rival | Ocasio-Cortez, Sanders to campaign in Kansas House Dems launching Medicare for All Caucus Let's remove the legal shield from hackers who rob us of our civil rights MORE (I-Vt.).

ADVERTISEMENT
“The Special Rapporteur wasted the UN’s time and resources, deflecting attention from the world’s worst human rights abusers and focusing instead on the wealthiest and freest country in the world.”

Sanders, along with several Democratic lawmakers in both chambers, earlier this month sent a letter to Haley asking her to show President TrumpDonald John TrumpIran claims it rejected Trump meeting requests 8 times ESPY host jokes Putin was as happy after Trump summit as Ovechkin winning Stanley Cup Russian ambassador: Trump made ‘verbal agreements’ with Putin MORE the conclusions of the report published by the United Nations Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights. 

The report blamed poverty in the United States on politics.

“At the end of the day, however, particularly in a rich country like the United States, the persistence of extreme poverty is a political choice made by those in power,” the report reads. “With political will, it could readily be eliminated.”

The report said American democracy "is being steadily undermined" and provided several suggestions for how to alleviate poverty in the U.S. The recommendations said American citizens must realize taxes "are in their interest" and that the U.S. "must recognize a right to health care."

Sanders and the other Democrats called upon the Trump administration to provide Congress with a strategy to act on suggestions made in the United Nations report. 

But Haley in her response to Sanders slammed the report as “misleading and politically motivated.”

“The report categorically misstated the progress the United States has made in addressing poverty and purposely used misleading facts and figures in its biased reporting,” Haley wrote.

“There is no question that poverty in America remains a serious concern, but it does no one any good to inaccurately describe its prevalence or its causes.” 

Sanders quickly responded to Haley, saying he believes “it is totally appropriate” for the United Nations to publish a report on poverty in America. 

“I hope you will agree that in a nation in which the top three people own more wealth than the bottom half, we can and must do much better than that,” Sanders wrote in his reply.

The senator told Haley he’d “love the opportunity” to talk to her about poverty when he is in New York.