Haley: Top Trump aides tried to get me to undermine him
Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley claims two of President Trump’s former senior advisers tried to get her to undermine him to “save the country,” The Washington Post reported Sunday, citing Haley’s upcoming memoir and an interview with her.
According to the newspaper, Haley said former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and former White House chief of staff John Kelly would try to get her to work around the president.
“Kelly and Tillerson confided in me that when they resisted the president, they weren’t being insubordinate, they were trying to save the country,” Haley wrote, according to the Post.
“It was their decisions, not the president’s, that were in the best interests of America, they said. The president didn’t know what he was doing,” she continued.
In one portion of the book, Haley reportedly recalls a disagreement with Tillerson and Kelly during an Oval Office meeting over her suggestion that the United States should withhold funding for a U.N. agency that supports Palestinians.
She said she had the backing of Trump’s Mideast envoys, according to the Post.
Kelly and Tillerson, however, argued that cutting aid could lead to violence and greater threats to Israel, as well as reduced U.S. influence, Haley reportedly wrote.
Kelly, she added, later responded to Haley in his office: “I have four secretaries of state: you, H.R., Jared, and Rex. I only need one,” she wrote, referring to Jared Kushner and then-national security adviser H.R. McMaster.
“I was so shocked I didn’t say anything going home because I just couldn’t get my arms around the fact that here you have two key people in an administration undermining the president,” Haley told the Post.
She also wrote that Kelly stalled when Haley requested a meeting with Trump and said the former chief of staff complained when she went around him to do so, according to the Post.
Tillerson did not respond to the Post’s request for comment.
Kelly told the newspaper that if providing Trump “with the best and most open, legal and ethical staffing advice from across the [government] so he could make an informed decision is ‘working against Trump,’ then guilty as charged.”
Haley wrote that she and others had an obligation to carry out Trump’s wishes since he was elected by voters, according to the Post, which obtained a copy of her memoir, “With All Due Respect,” which is set to be published on Tuesday.
Haley resigned from her position last year. She had previously served as South Carolina governor.
Haley also told the Post she’s encountered two types of people as a woman in politics.
“You encounter people who respect you for your skill and your knowledge and the work that you’re trying to do, and support you in that process. Or you encounter people who disregard you and see you as in the way. That would happen at times,” she told the Post.
But she told the newspaper she has no personal quarrel with Kelly, a retired four-star Marine general, and called him a patriot.
–This report was updated at 1:17 p.m.
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