Former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley has quickly gained national and international attention as America’s Ambassador to the United Nations. Here are some highlights from her first year in international diplomacy.
BY BRISTOW MARCHANT
The political world is abuzz with speculation about who penned a scathing anti-Trump column published in the New York Times by an anonymous member of President Donald Trump’s administration.
One possible author may not immediately spring to mind — US. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley.
The former S.C. governor — who Thursday said she did not write the critique — has been pointed to as a possible author of the op-ed by some pundits.
“The United Nations ambassador is, like (Vice President Mike) Pence, one of Trump’s favorites,” wrote CNN analyst Chris Cillizza. “She is also, however, someone deeply engaged on the world stage and a voice of concern when it comes to how the president views Russia and Putin.
“Haley, again like Pence, is ambitious and has her eye on national office. Would this service (writing the Times column) that goal?” Cillizza said.
Others were more sold on Haley’s possible involvement.
John McCormack, a writer for the conservative Weekly Standard, put together a Twitter pollon who the anonymous author was, including Haley, White House chief of staff John Kelly, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and first daughter Ivanka Trump.
When voting closed Thursday, Haley finished in first place with 32 percent of the votes cast.
Meanwhile, Canadian betting site Bovada placed the odds of Haley being the author at 10-to-1. Embattled Attorney General Jeff Sessions is the favorite, however, at odds of 5-to-2. The odds Trump himself wrote the piece were listed at 25-to-1.
Haley’s office did not respond to a request for comment Thursday from The State. However, New York Times reporter Michael Schwirtz tweeted Haley said “no” when asked if she wrote the op-ed while walking into the U.N. Security Council on Thursday.
The op-ed focuses at length on foreign policy, an area where Haley has been a prominent administration voice.
It notes the country’s foreign policy establishment has worked effectively with U.S. allies and taken measures to punish Russia, in particular, for misbehavior, even as “President Trump shows a preference for autocrats and dictators … and displays little genuine appreciation for the ties that bind us to allied, like-minded nations.”
Other possible authors of the piece also have ruled themselves out.
Pence spokesman Jarrod Agen wrote on Twitter that, “The Vice President puts his name on his op-eds. The @nytimes should be ashamed and so should the person who wrote the false, illogical, and gutless op-ed. Our office is above such amateur acts.”
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo also denied authoring the piece. He told reporters the op-ed was part of an “incredibly disturbing” phenomenon of the media trying to undermine the president, according to the Washington Post.
“I come from a place where if you’re not in a position to execute the commander’s intent, you have a singular option, that is to leave,” Pompeo said.