The US ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, revealed how she feels about the challenges she faces working for a president who can surprise even members of his own administration by making major announcements via tweet.
“When I wake up, I don’t know what he’s going to tweet about,” Haley said, laughing. “So you know, you’re always kind of moving through life with his tweets in mind.”
Haley spoke with former Obama advisor David Axelrod for the event, saying she views President Trump’s Twitter habit as simply just being a part of the job.
“This clearly is a president who likes social media,” Haley said. “And so for everybody that, you know, doesn’t like his tweets, it’s not going to stop. That’s who he is. It’s what he does.”
Haley has often voiced her support for President Trump in tweets of her own. While colleagues from other countries at the UN are said to take Trump’s tweeted messages “very seriously.”
“I found that in the UN, they’re like glued to his tweets,” Haley said. “So everything he says or does they take seriously. That’s the president speaking. …”
“And they react accordingly. So if we’re trying to push something against chemical weapons and he puts something out there, they take that very seriously.”
Haley also told Axelrod that she coached the president on how to handle the world body when he spoke to the UN General Assembly in September.
“I said, ‘OK now, Mr. President, you need to understand this is a serious crowd. They’re not going to rally. They’re not going to cheer. That’s just not who these people are. So don’t take it the wrong way,” Haley recalled. “I said, ‘Just think of it as church.’ ”
Trump also asked Haley’s opinion on his nickname for North Korean leader Kim Jong-un – “Little Rocket Man” – and whether he should use it during his address, the ambassador said.
“I said, ‘Well, it’s kind of a formal crowd,’ ” Haley recounted. “ ‘It would be different.’ ”
Trump went ahead and used the nickname in his speech and Haley said other world leaders also have used the nickname in conversations with her since Trump’s speech.
The former South Carolina governor defended some of Trump’s more controversial decisions, including blocking the resettlement of Syrian refugees in the United States and moving the US embassy in Israel to the contested city of Jerusalem.
“This was our decision. We did not say anything about defining the borders of Israel, or the peace process — that is for the Israelis and the Palestinians to decide,” she said.