Ambassador Nikki Haley has been a standout in this administration.
In her new role, the former South Carolina governor takes no prisoners. She has fiercely defended Israel and accused the United Nations of bullying them. She has unabashedly slammed Russia and her colleagues at the Security Council over the situation in Syria.
No matter what, you know she is serious. One of President Trump’s best decisions was appointing her as our nation’s representative to the U.N.
Her straight-laced, facts first style contrasts sharply with that of her brash boss. She is no less passionate than him, but her delivery, tone, and the very words she speaks are of a more thoughtful, measured nature.
On the CBS Sunday Morning show, Ambassador Haley sat down with Rita Braver to discuss a wide range of issues including her upbringing, her position as ambassador, the Mueller investigation, and her thoughts on the president’s communication style.
When asked by Braver about Trump’s behavior, her answer may have surprised some.
Braver asked, “What do you say to people who say, ‘Okay, maybe he’s done some things right, but his behavior is sometimes reprehensible?’ Do you ever think that?”
“First of all, he has his communication style, but you’re not hearing me defend that,” Haley said. “What I will tell you is, if there is anything that he communicates in a way that I’m uncomfortable with, I pick up the phone and call him. I don’t need to be public about that. I think that’s a private conversation that should happen when I feel it, and I think it’s one that he’s receptive to when I do.”
She didn’t give some glowing review of the president’s language. After all, we know how he communicates. We see him sound off on Twitter, when he should just keep his mouth shut. We’ve seen him call out the media in rather uncomfortable ways at press conferences. And we’re well aware of his history of insults both on and off the campaign trail.
To Haley’s credit, she refuses to defend any of that. But you know what? She shouldn’t have to do that, anyway.
Last time I checked, Ambassador Haley is not the press secretary. That job belongs to Sarah Sanders who stands before the media each day. It is up to Sanders to attempt a defense of their boss; not Haley.
What I see in her Sunday morning response is an honesty that is rare in politics. She admits that he has made her uncomfortable at times. If he does, she privately contacts him. This is how it should be done. Neither the public at large nor the hungry media need to know specifics.
I don’t know what the president and the ambassador discuss in those phone calls of complaint. I can imagine that Haley is respectful to her boss while expressing her dislike at any language and behavior in question.
The fact that she admits to being frustrated with him, and taking care of it behind closed doors, earns more of my respect.
President Trump is far from perfect, and Ambassador Nikki Haley doesn’t act like he is. Instead, she admits to taking issue with his style and privately voices her concern.
There are plenty of individuals, myself included, who are quite vocal about their frustrations with President Trump and his ill-mannered, insulting, sometimes flat-out incorrect language and communication style.
If we have a problem, we say it – loudly – in public. But when it comes to Ambassador Nikki Haley, she should focus her public attention and discussion on matters at the United Nations.
And it’s clear that she does.
The views expressed here are those of the author and do not represent those of any other individual or entity. Follow Kimberly Ross on Twitter: @southernkeeks.