by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org - Home - Stephen Lendman)
According to media reports, Trump watched Nikki Haley embarrass him on national television - claiming new US sanctions on Russia were coming this past Monday.
Last Sunday on CBS Face the Nation, she said the following:
"(Y)ou you will see that Russian sanctions will be coming down. Secretary Mnuchin will be announcing those on Monday (4/16), if he hasn't already. And they will go directly to any sort of companies that were dealing with equipment related to Assad and chemical weapons used."
Syria has no CW equipment or toxins related to it. Like countless times before, Haley grievously lied.
Reportedly Trump was furious over public remarks she made, contrary to what he intended. A previous article quoted White House press Sarah Sanders, saying the administration is "considering additional sanctions on Russia. A decision will be made in the near future" - not Monday, as Haley emphatically claimed.
Instead of apologizing for her indiscrete gaffe, she responded to an unnamed White House official calling her remarks about sanctions "momentary confusion," saying on Fox News: "With all due respect, I don't get confused."
Commenting on the incident, the Hill said "her response to the White House could pull her into the swirling drama that has doomed several administration aides," adding:
"Several West Wing allies privately grumbled about (her) comments on Face the Nation," and how she mishandled the situation.
WaPo said her "I don't get refused remark" amounted to "call(ing) the White House a bunch of liars."
She failed to correct her erroneous Face the Nation statement, staying silent on it for over 24 hours before compounding it by insulting Trump.
Undemocratic Dem Rep. Gerald Connolly said the episode "damage(d) her credibility…"
It's hard damaging what's nonexistent. Was she, Trump, or both figures at fault over the episode?
If occurred privately out of public view, it likely wouldn't have mattered. Broadcast on national television followed by prominent media reports of Haley's comments and reprisal made it a big deal.
According to RNC White House talking points distributed last Saturday, the day before Haley's Face the Nation interview:
The administration "intend(ed) to impose specific additional sanctions against Russia to respond to Moscow's ongoing support for (Syria) which has enabled (its nonexistent) atrocities against the Syrian people."
No date was cited, nor by Sarah Sanders in her comments.
The NYT suggested "a deeper strain between Mr. Trump and Ms. Haley, according to administration officials and other insiders" - mostly over their divergent views on Russia.
Trump is more amenable to improving bilateral relations - opposed by administration hardliners, virtually the entire Congress and media scoundrels.
He's very testy about administration officials considered less than entirely loyal.
Mostly supportive of Haley, he was angered about earlier public comments she made, notably on Russia.
Did she cross a line of no return for the Russian sanctions episode? Will administration turnover sweep her out in favor of another UN envoy?
Her lunatic fringe extremism, disconnect from reality, and geopolitical ignorance make her a liability, not an asset - a colossal embarrassment to the office she holds.
Trump erred in appointing her, easily corrected by ousting her in favor of a respected diplomat to represent America at the UN.
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