U.S. ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley knew exactly how to respond to CNN anchor Jake Tapper's depressing assessment of the U.S. embassy move from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem during their interview on Sunday.
"President Trump is supposed to be a master negotiator," Tapper noted. "Isn't this just cashing in a chip and getting nothing for it? How does this move the peace process forward in any way?"
In addition to leading questions like that, Tapper quoted the Arab League calling the move a "dangerous development," then played a clip of the PLO Secretary-General declaring that Trump had just "strengthened the forces of extremists." All of it fit nicely into Tapper's narrative that the embassy move was bad politics and is going to jeopardize the Middle East peace process.
Haley heard it all and did not flinch. She has no concern that Tapper's fears are going to be realized, she said, because the biggest priority right now is Iran. The U.S. is in "lock step" with the Arab League to combat that aggressor, she said.
Trump is simply doing what his predecessors did not have the guts to do for 22 years, Haley insisted. Former presidents Bush, Clinton and Obama all wanted to move the embassy, but backed off after listening to advisors who told them not to take such a risk. Trump actually had the "courage" to do it, Haley explained.
"The president did the will of the people."
The U.S. will not be determining borders, she explained. That's up to the two parties involved. What Trump did was simply acknowledge reality - that Jerusalem was the rightful capital of Israel, and took it off the negotiating table, Haley said.
“I still don’t see how it moves the peace process forward,” Tapper said, unconvinced.
“That’s OK," she replied. "It will move the peace process forward and I’ll come back and tell you I told you so."