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Tipsheet

How Nikki Haley Used Trump's 'Unpredictable' Nature to U.S. Advantage at the UN

Outgoing U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley has a vastly different temperament from President Trump, but their relationship helped the U.S.'s cause on the international stage, Haley explained in an interview with "TODAY's" Craig Melvin.

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"He would ratchet up the rhetoric, and then I'd go back to the ambassadors and say: 'You know, he's pretty upset. I can't promise you what he's going to do or not, but I can tell you if we do these sanctions, it will keep him from going too far,'" Haley said of their strategy.

Melvin suggested their partnership had a "good cop, bad cop" feel to it.

"I was trying to get the job done," she said. "And I got the job done by being truthful, but also by letting him be unpredictable and not showing our cards."

Of course, Haley didn't only rely on Trump's bombastic rhetoric to pursue the U.S. agenda at the UN, particularly when it came to defending our special relationship with Israel. In December 2017, when nearly every UN member voted against America's decision to open the U.S. embassy in Jerusalem and recognize it as the capital of Israel, Haley delivered a powerful speech about how the U.S. would not forget how those nations turned their backs on them. 

On another occasion, she informed the assembly that the U.S. would be withdrawing its funding for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency. Critics argued over the decision because the agency provides aid to Palestinian refugees.

“First of all, you’re looking at the fact that, yes, there’s an endless number of refugees that continue to get assistance, but more importantly, the Palestinians continue to bash America,” Haley reasoned at the time.

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Last June, she again lambasted her fellow UN members for introducing a resolution that would punish Israel for using "excessive force" against Palestinians. Haley told the UN she was incensed not only that the assembly blamed Israel for the violence, but that their resolution did "not even mention Hamas.”

“It is totally one-sided," Haley sounded off. "It makes not one mention of Hamas who routinely initiates violence in Gaza. Such one-sided resolutions at the UN do nothing to advance peace between Israel and the Palestinians."

There were plenty more pro-Israel demonstrations from Haley where those came from.

That's why many people were disappointed when Haley announced her resignation a few months ago. Last week, however, Trump nominated current State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert as her replacement.

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