Nikki Haley says she rebuffed efforts by Tillerson, Kelly to thwart Trump: report
Former United Nations ambassador Nikki Haley says in her new book that she rebuffed efforts by former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and former White House Chief of Staff John Kelly to recruit her into their efforts to “save the country” by thwarting elements of President Donald Trump’s agenda, The Washington Post reported Sunday.
In her book “With All Due Respect: Defending America with Grit and Grace,” which is scheduled to hit bookstores on Tuesday, Haley writes that “Kelly and Tillerson confided in me that when they resisted the president, they weren’t being insubordinate, they were trying to save the country,” according to the Post, which said it had obtained a copy of the 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,” Haley reportedly says in the book. She also claims Tillerson told her people would die if all of Trump’s policy impulses were carried out.
“I was so shocked I didn’t say anything going home because I just couldn’t get my arms around the fact that here you have two key people in an administration undermining the president,” Haley told the Post after one disagreement with Tillerson and Kelly over cutting aid to the U.N. relief agency for Palestinian refugees.
When asked about Haley’s portrayal, Kelly told the Post that if supplying the president with advice to help him “make an informed decision is ‘working against Trump,'” then he is “guilty as charged.”
Haley’s claims echo elements of Bob Woodward’s 2018 book “Fear: Trump in the White House,” in which he described Trump aides working to hide documents from the president so he couldn’t sign them, trying to persuade him out of what they considered bad ideas and working to control his impulsive nature. That book also reported that Kelly had called Trump an “idiot.”
During an interview with “CBS Evening News” last week, Haley said she opposed Trump’s impeachment, which the House is currently considering over allegations that the president withheld military aid to Ukraine in a push for that country to announce investigations that would benefit him politically.
Haley said impeachment is akin to the death penalty for a public official. She said it wasn’t warranted in this case because Ukraine did not open the investigations and Trump released the aid.
“The biggest thing that bothers me is the American people should decide this. Why do we have a bunch of people in Congress making this decision?” she said.
USA TODAY Washington Bureau Chief Susan Page sat down for an interview with Haley that will publish Monday.
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