News and Commentary

5 Things You Need To Know About UN Ambassador Nominee Nikki Haley

It has been reported that President-elect Donald Trump has selected South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley to be United States’s ambassador to the United Nation, an interesting pick, since relations between Trump and Haley haven’t always been warm toward each other.

Here are five things you need to know about Haley.

1. Haley is the first female and Indian governor of South Carolina. Haley won the gubernatorial position in 2010 as part of the Tea Party wave midterms and was endorsed by the likes of Sarah Palin and Mitt Romney. Her parents are Sikh immigrants from India.

2. One of the most well-known aspects of Haley’s gubernatorial tenure is the removal of the Confederate Flag from state grounds. Haley advocated for it to be taken down after the massacre in Charleston, acknowledging that while it’s a symbol of tradition and ancestry, “the flag is a deeply offensive symbol of a brutally oppressive past” to numerous people in the state. The flag eventually was taken down.

It’s worth noting that the Confederate Flag was originally placed on state grounds by a Democrat, then Governor Ernest Hollings, in 1961, and Haley, a Republican, took it down.

3. Trump and Haley have traded barbs with each other in the past. Haley indirectly attacked Trump in her response to President Barack Obama’s State of the Union in 2016 over immigration.

“During anxious times, it can be tempting to follow the siren call of the angriest voices. We must resist that temptation…No one who is willing to work hard, abide by our laws, and love our traditions should ever feel unwelcome in this country,” Haley said. “I have no doubt that if we act with proper focus, we can protect our borders, our sovereignty and our citizens, all while remaining true to America’s noblest legacies.”

Haley admitted afterward that she was referencing Trump, prompting the real-estate mogul to lash out at her.

“Number one, she’s very weak on illegal immigration,” Trump said on Fox and Friends. “I’ve known that for a long time. But she’s weak on illegal immigration. And she certainly has no trouble asking me for campaign contributions. Because over the years, she’s asked me for a hell of a lot of money in campaign contributions. So it’s sort of interesting to hear her. So perhaps if I weren’t running, she’d be in my office asking me for money. But now that I’m running, she wants to take a weak side on immigration. I feel very strongly about illegal immigration. She doesn’t.”

They also got into a Twitter feud in March:

Haley had called Trump’s proposal to temporarily ban Muslims from the U.S. “an embarrassment.”

The South Carolina governor did eventually say she would begrudgingly vote for Trump, and that must have been enough to bury the hatchet between the two.

4. Haley doesn’t have a lot of foreign policy experience. This is why Vox is in a tizzy over Haley as U.N. ambassador and acted like she couldn’t be effective in that role.

Haley hasn’t made her foreign policy views entirely known, but she has opposed the Iran deal and implemented a “ban on public entities from doing business with companies who engage in boycotts ‘of a person or an entity based in or doing business with a jurisdiction with whom South Carolina can enjoy open trade,'” per Reason. Haley is also in favor of building up the military and preventing the U.N. from encroaching upon the U.S.’s sovereignty, according to Ballotpedia.

5. When she ran for governor, Haley was accused of engaging in affairs. Via

Prior to Haley’s election, she was accused of having affairs with two different men, Will Folks, former press secretary for then-South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford, and Larry Marchant, a political consultant for Haley’s opponent, Andre Bauer. Folks said he had an inappropriate physical relationship with Haley several years prior, and Marchant said he and Haley had a one-time sexual encounter. Haley denied the events, saying that she had been faithful to her husband, Michael Haley. In an interview with Columbia’s WVOC radio on June 4, 2010, Haley said that if she were elected governor and the claims against her were validated, she would resign.

And yet Haley still won the race and is popular in her home state, so the people of South Carolina must not have thought much about the allegations. But if the Democrats are keen on derailing her appointment, they might trump up these past allegations against her.