Many of us cheered Mikki Haley recently when she kicked some butt and took some names at the United Nations after Syria’s Bashar al-Assad slaughtered scores of his own people with chemical weapons. She ripped the Russian ambassador a new one at a UN Security Council meeting asking “How many more children have to die before Russia cares?”
It was a masterful performance, but some of her comments after the missile strike against Syria didn’t sit well with the State Department because they weren’t quite in lockstep.
As a result, Haley might be getting her wings clipped just a bit. The State Department is now requesting remarks be cleared if they are on serious issues like Syria before they’re released.
According to The Washington Free Beacon,The State Department wants to ensure U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley’s foreign policy remarks are first cleared with Washington before she publicly states them.
An email drafted by State Department diplomats said that Haley’s staff should rely on “building blocks” written and provided by the department to prepare the ambassador’s remarks, the New York Times reported on Thursday.
Haley’s remarks should be “re-cleared with Washington if they are substantively different from the building blocks, or if they are on a high-profile issue such as Syria, Iran, Israel-Palestine, or [North Korea],” the email continued.
The move came in the wake of differing statements from Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Haley on regime change in Syria. After the April 6 a missile strike on a Syrian airfield in response to the Syrian regime’s of chemical weapons, Haley and Tillerson appeared to disagree about the future of Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad. Haley said in an interview that the US doesn’t “see a peaceful Syria with Assad in there.” Tillerson, meanwhile, said that Assad’s fate should be left up to the Syrian people.
Tillerson and his staff were absent on Monday when Haley led the Security Council’s 14 members to the White House. According to his staff, Tillerson’s schedule “did not enable him to participate.” Haley and Tillerson will appear together for the first time on Friday, when Tillerson will chair a meeting of the UN Security Council focused on North Korea.
Sources were quick to dismiss any suggestion of conflict between the secretary of state and the ambassador to the UN.
Let’s hope that’s the case, and it’s just a matter of coordinating messaging. Because Haley’s bold voice at the UN is also a breath of fresh air.
[Note: This article was written by Michael Cantrell]