Nikki Haley is 'whitewashing' her record on Putin while hypocritically attacking Democrats: conservative

Nikki Haley is 'whitewashing' her record on Putin while hypocritically attacking Democrats: conservative
Nikki Haley in 2016, Wikimedia Commons

With thousands of people having been killed during Russia’s brutal invasion of Ukraine, former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley — who served as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations under President Donald Trump — has been a frequent guest on Fox News and other right-wing media outlets, claiming that President Joe Biden underestimated the threat that Russian President Vladimir Putin posed. Journalist William Saletan, in an article published by the conservative website The Bulwark on March 10, finds this political theater from Haley laughable in light of her predictions that Putin wouldn’t invade Ukraine.

“Nikki Haley smells an opportunity,” Saletan explains. “Donald Trump’s U.S. ambassador to the United Nations is getting ready to run for president in 2024, and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has given her a chance to talk about foreign policy. But Haley isn’t using that chance to educate the public or offer sound advice. She’s using it to do what she has always done: preen, moralize and insult the intelligence of her audience.”

Saletan continues, “Since the invasion began, Haley has been a regular on Fox News, talking tough and accusing President Biden of failing to take Vladimir Putin seriously. She pretends to have known all along that Putin would attack.”

Haley, during an appearance on BlazeTV’s “The Rubin Report” that was posted on March 7, told host Dave Rubin, “When an evil dictator thug says they’re going to do something, we need to believe them. Putin said he was going to take Ukraine, and he is.”

But Haley, according to Saletan, is now “whitewashing her record” — as earlier this year, she “didn’t think Putin would go through with the invasion.”

On January 26, for example, Haley told Fox News’ Brian Kilmeade, “Putin knows it’s costly, and he knows he can’t do it. This is him leveraging to see what he can get…. He doesn’t want to expand. I don’t think Russia wants to go to war.”

Then, on February 8, Haley told Fox News’ Bret Baier, “I think what Russia’s really trying to do is get us to not allow Ukraine into NATO.”

“In the two months leading up to the invasion, as Putin massed forces on the Ukrainian border, Haley was preoccupied with China, not Russia,” Saletan explains. “Her advocacy organization, Stand for America, hardly mentioned Ukraine. In op-eds, interviews, and tweets, she talked about China but largely ignored Russia.”

Saletan adds, “When she did mention Ukraine, her comments were foolish, self-serving, or pernicious. On January 31, she tweeted: ‘Biden should care about our own border as much as he claims to care about the Ukrainian border. #ProtectAmerica.’ That message, parroting Trump’s isolationist rhetoric, undercut American resolve. It implied that the defense of Ukraine was disingenuous and was a substitute for protecting the United States.”

Saletan also points out that Haley was insulting the United States’ European NATO allies as they “rallied to Ukraine’s defense.”

“In an op-ed on February 28,” Saletan recalls, “she called Germany ‘Europe’s biggest slacker.’ On March 2, she ridiculed European countries that were sanctioning Russia and sending aid to Ukraine. ‘Biden was following the Europeans,’ she scoffed on Fox News. ‘When you’re following the Europeans, who love to hug it out, that’s not saying very much.”

Trump has spent a lot of time praising Putin — a fact that Haley typically overlooks during her appearances on Fox News, Newsmax TV and other right-wing media outlets.

“None of what Haley is saying about Ukraine is sincere,” Saletan emphasize. “She knows that Trump, who directly betrayed her to delay sanctions against Russia, is a stooge for Putin. She knows we can stand up for Ukraine’s borders without surrendering our own. She knows it’s wise to seek one enemy’s help against another. She knows deterrence depends on holding penalties in reserve.”

Saletan adds, “So, why does she say the opposite? Because although she understands all of this, she thinks you don’t. She thinks you’re too dumb to know the difference.”

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