Washington: United States (US) Ambassador to the United Nations (UN) Nikki Haley and the new top White House economic advisor Larry Kudlow publicly sparred over a potential sanction over Russia, with the latter accusing her of "getting ahead of the curve".
Briefing reporters at president Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida, Kudlow said Haley apparently got confused on the issue of imposing fresh sanctions on Russia. He was responding to a question on Haley's remarks over the weekend that fresh economic sanctions were coming against Russia on Monday, 16 April, which did not happen.
Haley quickly fought back by saying that she did not get confused. "With all due respect, I don't get confused," Haley told TV news channel 'Fox News' after Kudlow's press conference in Mar-a-Lago, Florida.
During his press conference, Kudlo said additional sanctions against Russia were under consideration but not yet implemented. "She got ahead of the curve. She's done a great job. She's a very effective ambassador. There might have been some momentary confusion about that. But if you talk to Steve Mnuchin at Treasury and so forth, he will tell you the same thing. They're in charge of this," Kudlow said. "We have had sanctions. Additional sanctions are under consideration but not implemented, and that's all," the top economic advisor to the US president said.
Kudlow recently joined the Trump Administration and has been a close friend of the president for the past several decades. Haley, said to be a potential Republican presidential candidate, is the first ever Indian-American cabinet-ranking official in any presidential administration. She has been a strong supporter of Trump's foreign policies.
Trump has praised Haley several times in the past for her remarkable transformation from being South Carolina Governor to his top diplomat at the United Nations. This is probably the first time that Haley has been seen publicly clashing with anyone inside the Trump Administration.
On Sunday, Haley told 'CBS news' that Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin would be announcing a new set of Russian sanctions on Monday. "They will go directly to any sort of companies that were dealing with equipment related to Assad and chemical weapons used. And so, I think everyone is going to feel it at this point. I think everyone knows that we sent a strong message, and our hope is that they listen to it," Haley said. White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said Monday that the Administration was considering additional sanctions against Russia.
Yesterday, 'The Washington Post' reported that Trump was not comfortable signing off on additional sanctions on Russia.
The opposition Democratic party latched on to the public spat and said that it reflected contradiction in the administration. "Nikki Haley must be so embarrassed today. That she forthrightly says, we're going to be tough on Russia and do additional sanctions one day and the president contradicts her the next. Do they talk to each other? Do they have a set plan? Or is it just up to the president's whim, day to day, moment to moment," Senator Chuck Schumer, Senate Minority Leader said on the floor on Tuesday. "When it comes to Russia, that's far too serious to rely on the whim, changing attitudes, and maybe an 800-pound gorilla in the room. Something that the president is worried about," he said
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Updated Date: Apr 18, 2018 14:03:35 IST