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Nikki Haley Writes in New Book Tillerson and Kelly Ignored Trump’s Wishes to ‘Save the Country’

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Nikki Haley Writes in New Book Tillerson and Kelly Ignored Trump’s Wishes to ‘Save the Country’

2019-11-11 16:38:27

By Laura Tucker, Staff writer; Image: Nikki Haley (Image Source: Screenshot)

Former United Nations ambassador Nikki Haley is back to defend Donald Trump. When she left the office at the end of last year, there were questions of whether she would go up against the president or if she would remain on his side.  

Haley, who also served as governor of South Carolina and as a state congresswoman, has answered that question with her new book, “With All Due Respect.” Many people believe she will make a run for president in 2024.

She writes in the new book that former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and former White House Chief of Staff John Kelly tried to recruit her to carry out their plans instead of Trump’s to “save the country,” but she refused. 

Tillerson, who is described in the book as “exhausting” and imperious was secretary of state from February 1, 2017, through March 31, 2018, when he was fired by Trump and replaced by Mike Pompeo. Prior to being part of the Trump administration, he was the CEO of ExxonMobil.

Kelly was described as being suspicious of Haley’s access to the president and was first secretary of Homeland Security in the Trump administration and then replaced Reince Priebus as chief of staff on July 31, 2017.  

Eventually, Trump began making key decisions without Kelly’s input, and the two were no longer on speaking terms by last December when it was announced he would be leaving the position. Mick Mulvaney replaced him as acting chief of staff.

“Kelly and Tillerson confided in me that when they resisted the president, they weren’t being insubordinate, they were trying to save the country,” wrote Haley in her new book. 

“It was THEIR decisions, not the president’s, that were in the best interests of America, they said. The president didn’t know what he was doing,” she wrote of how the two viewed Trump.

She also wrote that Tillerson told her that people would die if Trump were to continue on unchecked. 

Kelly commented on his inclusion in the book by writing that if providing Trump “with the best and most open, legal and ethical staffing advice from across the [government] so he could make an informed decision is ‘working against Trump,’ then guilty as charged.”

Specifically, Haley writes about a disagreement she had with Tillerson and Kelly after an Oval Office meeting when she suggested the United States should withhold funding for the U.N. agency that supports Palestinians. 

Kelly and Tillerson, however, believed that if aid was cut, it could lead to violence, greater threats against Israel, and Arab allies losing U.S influence and political difficulties.

Haley wrote, however, that Trump’s Middle East peace envoys, including Jared Kushner, backed her, yet he was not in the room. Then-national security adviser H.R. McMaster was in the room, yet she does not specify in the book what his views were. 

While Trump seemed to be agreeing with her, he told the three of them to go resolve their differences somewhere else. Afterward, in Kelly’s office, Kelly told her, “I have four secretaries of state: you, H.R., Jared, and Rex. I only need one.”

Kelly was also of the belief that it had been a “terrible” decision when Trump made Haley a full member of the Cabinet, allowing her to attend National Security Council meetings. He vowed the next U.N. ambassador wouldn’t carry the same rank. 

Kelly Knight Craft, who took Haley’s place earlier this year, doesn’t carry the same rank she did.

“I have found in politics that when you are a woman in politics, you encounter two types of people,” she said in the interview promoting her book. 

“You encounter people who respect you for your skill and your knowledge and the work that you’re trying to do and support you in the process. Or you encounter people who disregard you and see you as in the way. That would happen at times,” she added.

However, she did not come right out and call him sexist, only referring to him as a patriot and remarking, “It’s a way of saying that sometimes he was not as conscious of the job I was trying to do.” 

Haley doesn’t offer up many critiques of Trump in the book, explaining that since he was the one who was elected by voters, she and the others had an obligation to carry out his wishes.

She also writes that she supported most of Trump’s foreign policy decisions, including decisions that others tried to prevent from being carried out or tried to slow the pace of. This includes withdrawing from the Iran nuclear deal, the Paris climate accord, and relocating the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. 

In a recent interview promoting her book, she also dismissed efforts to impeach Trump by the House Democrats. While she does not agree with him seeking foreign help to investigate his political opponents, she does not believe that is impeachable.

“There was no heavy demand insisting that something had to happen. So it’s hard for me to understand where the whole impeachment situation is coming from because what everybody’s up in arms about didn’t happen,” she said. 

“So, do I think it’s not good practice to talk to foreign governments about investigating Americans? Yes. Do I think the president did something that warrants impeachment? No, because the aid flowed,” she added.

“And, in turn, the Ukrainians didn’t follow up with the investigation.” 

She does recall in her book disagreements she had with Trump. She discussed with him her concern that he gave up authority to Russian President Vladimir Putin after the two met in 2018 in Helsinki as well as his “moral equivalence” after the white supremacist march in Charlottesvile in 2017.

Haley also reports that she was treated for post-traumatic stress disorder after the Charleston shooting and guilt for going through that when the victims and their families were suffering so much more. 

Regarding her ambitions toward the presidency, she stated, “I’m not even thinking that way. I’m thinking more of, we need to do all we can to get the president reelected. And then from there, deciding how I will use the power of my voice.”

“I know I’m too young to stop fighting; I know that,” she continued “And I know that I need and want to be involved in some way that’s helpful.”

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