Haley Defends Herself Against Attacks From Gerry Connolly

June 28, 2017

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley defended herself Wednesday morning from attacks from Rep. Gerry Connolly (D., Va.) targeting her actions at the U.N.

Haley was testifying before the House Foreign Affairs Committee about U.S. activity at the international body.

Connolly first went after Haley for the Trump administration's proposed budget cuts to funding to UNICEF, a U.N. organization that works with children. Haley has defended, arguing they send a message to the U.N., which has faced allegations of corruption and money wasting.

Haley said that President Donald Trump's federal budget proposal aimed to make a point about building up the military and was a "starting point."

"I don't think you want to go there," Connolly said.

"I'm sorry?" Haley said.

"I don't think you want to go there," Connolly repeated.

"You're a loyal member of the administration," Connolly said. "Good for you."

Connolly then mentioned the international reaction to the United States leaving the Paris climate accord. When Haley tried to respond, Connolly interrupted her and continued.

"The U.S. has to make the decisions that are in the best interest of the U.S.," Haley said. "It is not in the best interest for our businesses or our industries. We are not going to throw the climate out the window."

"Well, I'm glad to hear that," Connolly said.

When Haley said that the United States was being "independent" by not being part of the climate agreement, Connolly said the U.S. was one of three countries not part of the accord, along with Nicaragua and Syria.

"That must be a proud moment," Connolly said.

Connolly then brought up Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election. Haley said that she had not discussed it with her Russian counterparts and that she has received zero instructions from the White House or State Department. Connolly expressed surprise that she was given no instructions for what to say at the U.N.

"What I appreciate is this administration does not tell me what to say or what not to say," Haley said. "They allow me to say what I think and they support me through that."