National Security

Haley: Trump hasn’t stopped me from ‘beating up on Russia’

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Nikki Haley says that President Trump has not stopped her from “beating up on Russia” since she became the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.

“The president has not once called me and said, ‘Don’t beat up on Russia,’ has not once called me told me what to say,” Haley said in an interview on ABC’s “This Week.”

When asked by host Martha Raddatz if Trump should be taking a tougher stance on the Kremlin and Russian President Vladimir Putin, Haley responded, “I am.”

“So he doesn’t need to?” Raddatz pressed.

{mosads}”Well if — of course,” Haley responded. “He’s got a lot of things he’s doing, but he is not stopping me from beating up on Russia.”

Haley also said during the interview that she “certainly” thinks Russia was involved in the election.

“There’s no question about that.”

Trump has largely dismissed scrutiny of any potential ties between himself or campaign associates and Russia.

He often spoke warmly of Putin during the campaign, and has expressed interest in expanding U.S. cooperation with Russia in the Middle East.

On Saturday, Trump called on NBC News to “stop with the Fake Trump/Russia story” and focus more on his unproven claims that former President Barack Obama spied on him.

“It is the same Fake News Media that said there is ‘no path to victory for Trump’ that is now pushing the phony Russia story. A total scam!” Trump tweeted.

Haley has often taken an adversarial approach to Russia in her post at the U.N., particularly over the country’s 2014 annexation of Crimea and renewed fighting in Ukraine.

In early February, Haley condemned Russia’s geopolitical maneuvers in Eastern Ukraine, asserting that Moscow’s behavior “demands clear and strong condemnation.” 

She also said last month that the U.S. “should never trust Russia.”

The continued interest in the Trump administration’s handling of Moscow comes as the House and Senate intelligence committees investigate Russian efforts to meddle in the 2016 election in favor of Trump, as well as the real estate mogul and his aides’ potential links to the Kremlin. The FBI is conducting its own probe.

–This report was updated on April 2 at 12:14 p.m.

Tags Barack Obama United Nations

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