Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-NY) had a tense exchange Wednesday with U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley over how he felt the “Trump administration has diminished America’s leadership and global standing.” Haley pushed back on that claim inviting Meeks to “come to the United Nations so you can see for yourself the strength the U.S. is showing there because it is strong, it is heard, and it is valuable.”
“You mentioned the word betrayal in your opening statement but I want you to know that that’s an appropriate word to describe what I’m hearing from my constituents and fellow Americans and our allies all across, at home and abroad,” Meeks told Haley. “They feel a sense of betrayal because of the way that the Trump administration has diminished America’s leadership and global standing.”
“Our allies have expressed their sense of betrayal and mixed messages coming from the President and I believe this budget proposal is a betrayal of our nation’s interests so while you mention a sense of betrayal regarding a single U.N. resolution, I hope you recognize the deep sense of betrayal that many Americans are feeling right now as the administration pursues a path of isolation,” Meeks continued.
“When the president went to Saudi Arabia there was no mention of human rights. When he went to Egypt there was no mention of human rights. When he met with the Chinese there was no mention of human rights. When he had the Russians in his office giving away national secrets there was no mention of human rights,” Meeks claimed.
“Mr. Meeks we have really put a strong voice of the U.S. at the U.N.,” Haley emphasized replying to Meeks. “I mean they know we’re back they know we’re strong and I will tell you when the action took place to strike Syria the number of ambassadors that came to me and said it’s so good to see the U.S. leading again.”
“Did we lead when we pulled out of the Paris agreement?” Meeks asked, adding, “we have a president that’s indicated that he wants to do bilateral, no multilateral agreements and he has no confidence in multilateral organizations.”
“He supports me at the U.N. and he supports what I’m doing at the U.N.,” Haley reminded Meeks. “When you talk about human rights I was the first person to bring up human rights at the Security Council. I went to Geneva to talk about human rights. I’ve been on it in terms of Venezuela, what’s happening in South Sudan, all that the president supports me on that so when you talk about different views and those things that are happening we’re on the same team, for me to talk about it he is supportive of that.”
“You’ve said it, the president hasn’t,” Meeks replied.
“I work for the President and I don’t go rogue on the president he’s very aware of what I’m doing,” she replied, “he’s very supportive of it and I can tell you that in all of these issues we’re not apart on it. He believes as strongly in the things I talk about as anyone else and I would invite you to come to the United Nations so you can see for yourself the strength the U.S. is showing there because it is strong, it is heard, and it is valuable.”
Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), before beginning his questioning, told Meeks, “Let me just note that I think betrayal is a very rough word and I would suggest that anyone who voted for giving 150 billion dollars to the Iranian government, making that available, should not be talking about the words betrayal.”
Rohrabacher was referencing Meeks’ support of the Obama administration’s deal with Iran.
“I didn’t use it she did,” Meeks replied.