Nikki Haley, the outgoing US ambassador to the UN, has said she used President Donald Trump’s “rhetoric” and “unpredictable” nature to get the job done at the world body.
In October, Haley announced that she was leaving the post by the end of the year. Haley has served nearly two years in the post.
Although some have speculated that Haley, 46, may challenge Trump in the 2020 presidential election, but she has said that she will support the president.
“He (Trump) would ratchet up the rhetoric, and then I’d go back to the ambassadors and say: ‘You know, he’s pretty upset. I can’t promise you what he’s going to do or not, but I can tell you if we do these sanctions, it will keep him from going too far,'” Haley told NBC.
“I know all of it,” she said in response to a question about the president’s bombastic statements in public and on Twitter.
“But I’m disciplined enough to know not to get into the drama,” she said.
At the United Nations, “I was trying to get the job done,” she said. “And I got the job done by being truthful, but also by letting him be unpredictable and not showing our cards.”
Haley said that she was aware that some people believe that she and Trump are not always on the same page, but she said that’s only because “our styles are very different.”
“And, you know, I’ve always found that funny,” she said. “But the truth at the end of the day is I may be harder on some things or I may be tougher in some ways, but I’ve never strayed from where the president was or never strayed from where his policy wants to go.”
As for Heather Nauert, the State Department spokeswoman whom Trump has said he will nominate to succeed Haley at the US, Haley said that while “I want her to be successful,” only time will tell whether her appointment was a good one.
Haley also made it clear that she blamed Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and the Saudi government for dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s death in October, even as the president has repeatedly said that the US has reached no final conclusion about the prince’s involvement.
Trump downplays intelligence that Saudi crown prince ordered Khashoggi’s murder.
“It was the Saudi government, and MBS is the head of the Saudi government,” Haley said, referring to the prince by his initials. “So they are all responsible, and they don’t get a pass, not an individual, not the government — they don’t get a pass.”