Nikki Haley, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, said on Thursday that the New York Times knew the facts about curtains purchased for the ambassador's residence and it still released a misleading story focused on her.
"They knew the facts, and they released the story anyway," Haley told Fox News anchor Martha MacCallum.
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The Times published a story on Sept. 13 that focused on Haley’s residence in New York City getting expensive curtains. The online headline of the story was "Nikki Haley’s View of New York Is Priceless. Her Curtains? $52,701" next to a picture of Haley. The story caused an immediate reaction from Haley's critics, who blasted her for spending that much money on window treatments.
The problem with the the Time‘s framing was the curtains were ordered in 2016 as part of the work being done on the new official residence. The author explained later in the piece how Obama administration officials made the order as part of its work setting up the new residence. The article was changed and a note was added stating the original copy was "unfair."
"I hadn’t even taken the job when these curtains were picked out. And so, the idea that this came out, we told the reporters that these were the facts," Haley said.
"So you talked to the New York Times and said ‘this isn't the case,' and they printed it anyway?" MacCallum asked.
"They printed it anyway, and it was down in the story in like the seventh paragraph, down at the bottom," Haley said.
Haley said following the release of the Times report, she was asked about the curtains wherever she went.
"All last weekend, every day, wherever I went, people were asking me about my curtains. The damage is done once the story is out," Haley said. "I appreciate the retraction, but that story follows you everywhere you go. But that is — that’s the tough part about public life now."
The ambassador's residence on Manhattan's First Avenue was leased by the Obama administration in 2016 after the administration decided to leave the previous residence at the Waldorf Astoria. Haley was not involved in the purchase of curtains or the choice of residence, a spokesperson for the ambassador said.