U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley spoke at the Women in the World Summit in New York on Wednesday, where she pushed back against the notion that the Trump administration is silent on Russia's alleged involvement in protecting the Assad regime in Syria. But when Haley said that Trump has strengthened the military, the crowd booed.
"President Trump has been critical of course of what's going on in Syria of Assad and he has been critical of President Obama, saying that he didn't act enough – I'm paraphrasing him – back in 2012 and 2013, but we have not not heard much from him about Russia. Why?" MSNBC host and moderator Greta Van Susteren asked.
The crowd started cheering and applauding the question for several seconds, delaying Haley response.
Van Susteren then rephrased the question, asking Haley what she thought needed to be done about targeting Russia.
"I have hit Russia over the head more times than I can count, and it's because if they do something wrong, we're going to call them out on it," Haley said.
"If they want to help us defeat terrorism, fine. But the things they have done with Crimea and Ukraine, the things they have done and how they have covered up for Assad, those types of things, we're not going to give them a pass on," Haley continued.
Haley noted that she has had discussions with President Donald Trump where he has told her that Russia is a "problem."
"I think if you look at his actions, everyone wants to hear his words, but look at his actions," Haley said. "The two things that Russia doesn't want to see the U.S. do is strengthen their military and expand energy, and the president has done both of those."
Following her final remark, several people in the crowd started booing Haley, prompting Van Susteren to switch topics during the discussion.
Failed presidential candidate Hillary Clinton will be the closing speaker at the summit on Thursday, and her presence has likely drawn many Clinton supporters to the audience.