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'The Human Rights council is a farce,' Nikki Haley talks the UN, Israel and The United States' Role in the World

'The Human Rights council is a farce,' Nikki Haley talks the UN, Israel and The United States' Role in the World Read Transcript

- Ambassador Haley, thanks for being here

and thanks for joiningus, appreciate this.

- It's great to be back.

- Israel, in CUFI, you'regonna be speaking, obviously.

Tell me a little bitabout what has changed

at the UN since the last time we talked,

which was a year ago,'cause you've talked about

how the battleship is turning around.

I know there's the Hamas language

that was inserted as part of an amendment.

I want to hear all about that.

Explain what the latest on that bias

at the UN against Israel is all about.

- It's a new day at the UN.

We said that the day we stepped foot

into the United Nations,

but I can tell you, we'veseen a lot of moving parts.

What we've done is we'vejust called out the bias

as we see it.

We've pointed to realities.

In some cases, that meanswe've withdrawn from UNESCO.

That means we've withdrawnfrom the Human Rights Council.

But, it also means thatwe stood our ground

when it came to movingthe embassy to Jerusalem

and recognizing that thatis the capital of Israel.

So, I think if you take all of those,

we just were able to ableto get an amendment passed

that said that Hamas is responsible

for a lot of what's happening in Gaza.

They changed the rules andsaid we needed 2/3 vote.

But the idea that wecould get the majority

of the general assembly for the first time

to even acknowledge that Hamas is an issue

was a fantastic win.

- What do you attribute that to?

Why do you think there's been movement?

You have been very forceful on this issue.

- I think that no onecan run from the truth.

When you put the truth in front of people

and you put the realitiesin front of people,

they can do spin andthey can do distraction,

but they can't deny the truth.

We've put that in front of them.

In a lot of cases, we'vemade them very uncomfortable.

But, at the end of theday, they know we're right.

So, you know, truth wins.

When you're right it wins.

You just gotta have the body armor

to be able to push throughand fight the fight.

- When you speak to CUFI,

a lot of evangelicals in the crowd,

Christians United For Israel,

and lot of folks are stilltrying to scratch their head

and understand why evangelicals

are the biggest supporters of Israel.

I'm wondering if you cantalk about that link,

that connection, betweenthe evangelical community

and Israel, it's aspecial one, it's unique.

- It is a special one, butit's the right one again.

If you look at the fact, you know,

we've always said that Israel'svalues are America's values.

Israel's beliefs are America's beliefs.

There's so much that unitesus between the two countries.

The idea that we're friends is one thing,

but when you look at the anti-Semitism,

you look at all of the harassment

that they're getting around the world,

you do feel for them because you know

these are good peopletrying to live a good life

that are in a dangerous region.

I think that Christians United,

they see that for what it is.

They want to fight forthem because they know

it's like fighting for themselves.

- The UN's Human Rights Council,

that's a thing of the past now.

Explain the reasoning behind that,

any pushback, any pushback?

The pushback that you'vereceived, obviously, at the UN.

You've actually called itthe UN's biggest failure,

is what you have said.

Explain the reasoningbehind why the United States

needed to get out of that.

- Well, before we go intothat, the United States

continues to be the largestcontributor to human rights.

I mean, funding, globally,we continue to be that

and we'll always be that.

The Human Rights Council's a farce.

We knew that when we came in.

Honestly, a lot of congressional members

told us to get out then and we could have,

but we didn't because we said,

"Let's see if we can fix it.

"Let's see if we can improve it."

You're talking about a council

that has yet to hear anything on Venezuela

because Venezuela sits on the council

with China, with DemocraticRepublic of Congo

that was just added onthere, with Saudi Arabia.

There's a lot of members that go on

to the Human Rights Counciljust to avoid being called out.

What we've said is,

"You've got serious human rights abuses."

Whether it's in Venezuela,whether it's in Iran,

where they're protesting their regime.

Whether it's in Nicaragua

and they're doing nothing about it.

So, we were told by all ofour friends and our allies

that we were the last great hope

of the Human Rights Council.

That's not the reason you stay.

We have to be part of a council

that's true to it's name.

So, we have startedtalking about Human Rights

in New York at the Security Council.

We've said that there'sa direct correlation

between human rightsand peace and security.

And we're gonna continue to do that.

We're gonna continue to call out countries

and we don't need to sit on a council

and give them money and give them credit

when they don't deserve it.

- What's the reaction beenat the United Nations?

Because you have reallygone, since day one,

you've gone in there to shake things up.

How tough has that been?

- You know, every day I put on body armor

'cause I know there's gonna be a fight.

I'm just fighting adifferent thing every day.

It is a lot, but there'sno better blessing

than to defend America.

I mean, we, our values, our freedoms,

the way we celebrate liberty,

I think it's just somethingthat's an honor to do.

And, yes, is it tough goinginto an anti-US organization

that's always looking tobeat up us and our friends?

It is tough, but we'regonna call them out.

At the same time, it can do good things.

We would never have gottenthe massive sanctions

on North Korea had it notbeen for the United Nations.

So, the idea that we were able to do

those three big sanctions packages

really, kind of, makeNorth Korea claustrophobic

to the point that they cameto the negotiating table.

There's some good and bad in everything.

So, we just try to makethe most of it that we can.

- You're right, that's atransition out of North Korea,

which is what I was gonna talk about.

You called for thecomplete denuclearization,

verified denuclearization, of North Korea.

You've heard the question,

what does that mean to the United States

compared to what it means to Kim Jong Un?

And there seems to bepotentially a difference.

Or, do you think theyunderstand the message

that what denuclearizationmeans to the United States?

- I think that North Koreaunderstands the message,

they just don't like to hear it.

What we are saying isNorth Korea can no longer

be a threat to the international community

and we're not gonna stopuntil we can prove that.

We can prove that by the factthat they have denuclearized.

So, I think that what wesaw was the summit come in,

we saw two leaders and the goal was,

do they both have the politicalwill to continue to talk.

We saw that they do.

Now, the tough stuff starts.

North Korea has to understandthe international community,

we're not gonna let up, we'renot gonna loosen sanctions,

we're not gonna docongratulatory statements

until we see actionsto stand by their words

that they're gonna denuclearize.

I think they've got somesoul searching to do.

I think they've gotta figure out,

but if they do it, thepresident has made it

very clear to Kim that thelife of the North Korean people

will be so much better.

They suddenly will have business.

They suddenly will have markets

that they don't have access to now.

They'll be welcome by theinternational community.

We just have to see if theysee this for what it is

and we've gotta hold theinternational community strong

and say, "Don't start accepting them yet."

They haven't done anything to deserve it.

- Here's some breaking news.

This is an unconventional president.

He has, obviously, had that meeting

with the North Korean leader

and also now with Vladimir Putin.

How do you feel about someof what he has done here?

Because it is unconventionalto, basically, do some of this.

I know this has happenedbefore, especially with Putin,

but the way he's gone about this,

he's taken a lot of shotsand criticism back home.

What's been your view of what happened

at Helsinki and a littlebit on North Korea?

Really on Russia and Helsinkiand how the criticism

that came his way.

- First of all, we don't trust Russia.

We don't trust Putin, we never will.

They're never gonna be our friend.

That's just a fact.

But, what I do think is

whether it's the presidentsitting down with Kim

or whether the presidentsits down with Putin,

those are things that have to happen.

You can't get to the end of the other side

if you don't have those conversations.

Whether something comes outof them or not, is one thing.

But, you have to at leasthave the conversation.

So, I think going to Helsinkiand having the conversation

was something that was a long time coming.

There were a lot of grievancesthat needed to be aired.

There were a lot of challengesthat we needed to discuss.

I think the president did that.

I think there is obviously somecontroversy about Helsinki,

but if you look at the controversy,

it's all about what he said.

For me, a policy person, Icare more about what he does.

Arming the Ukrainiansagainst Russia was important.

Making sure that we hit Assad'schemical weapons program

even though Russia didn't wantus to do it, that matters.

The idea that we expelledRussian diplomats and spies

from Washington and New York,all of those actions matter.

So, I think what'scontroversial is the words

that he said, but, to me,

the actions are theonly thing that matters.

- Part of the controversy also,

is that he met with him inprivate for a couple hours.

No one's quite sure,everybody says no one,

well, maybe there are morepeople that know what happened.

What's the concern aboutthe private meeting

because now Democrats wantto subpoena the interpreter

that was in the meeting and all of that?

- He did that with Kim.

He's done it with other leaders.

He did it with President Xi of China.

That's just his way.

He feels like he can get more out of them

if he goes one on one like that.

It's his style, it's the way he does it.

I think that what you sawis in the first meeting

that was gonna happen.

Now, you're gonna see their next meetings

are gonna have peopleand the working groups

are gonna come together,all of those things.

But, he's always thought, just to create

that genuine reality ofthe two of them talking,

he feels like he needsto do it face to face.

- How is he viewed at the UN?

How is this administrationviewed at the United Nations?

Or, maybe, how is he personally viewed?

- I think they're one and the same.

I think that thecountries now see the fact

that you can't playwith the United States.

You can't sit there and hold your hand out

asking for money and thencriticize us the next day.

You have to understand that we are there.

We do back the United Nations.

We are the biggest funder.

But, that doesn't mean we're gonna put up

with a lot of things.

I think they've realized thatthis is a new administration.

One that's gonna call it like we see it

and one that's gonna hold the line.

We've definitely done that.

Do they like it?

It depends on who they are.

If you ask Iran, if youask some of the others,

they're gonna tell you,no, they don't like it.

But those are the oneswe don't want to like it.

And those are the ones that needed

to be called out for a long time.

- Well, if Iran's President Rouhani,

checked Twitter this morning,he might see something

along those lines.

What do you make of the all-caps tweet?

I mean, provocative, inthe sense that, you know,

there's a lot of folksthat will get very spooked

and scared by something along those lines.

- You know, Iran has made,

or has received theirlegitimacy by rhetoric.

It has the Europeans and everyone

that was involved in the Iran deal scared

of what they might do.

We don't fall for that.

The president was letting them know,

don't throw out threatsagainst the United States

because we take every threat seriously

and you don't want usto have to act on that.

So, if anything, it setIran back on its heels

because they realizethese are not just words.

If you want to come to the table

and work on a new Iran deal,

we'll be right there to talk to you.

But, you're not gonnathreaten us to do it.

In all honesty, David, Ithink what they're doing

is the rhetoric is tosecure the other members

of the Iran deal.

They want to make them so nervous

and they want to have them so fearful

of what Iran could do so that they don't

get out of the deal.

This is just part of thegame that Iran plays.

- Iran may have messed withthe wrong president here.

- They absolutely did.

- I want to bring up something.

There has been somepushback on Secretary Pompeo

who I just spoke to the other day.

Your name, at times, had been mentioned

but also John Bolton as well about

President Trump's kind ofdoing this foreign policy

from his gut and rogue and all of that.

There's been people that have said

that all three of you, to a degree,

need to make a decisionas to whether or not

you're going to pushback a little bit harder

against this presidentbecause he just seems

to kind of do his thing at times.

Do you think that's an unfair criticism?

How do you see it exactly?

- I think everyone wants to think

that there's people around the president

that aren't just yes men or women,

that they actually do push back.

I can tell you I met with president

this morning for an hour.

There were some things thathe may have liked that I said

and some things that he maynot have liked what I said.

But, he asked me what my thoughts are

and I tell him the truth.

But, I tell him in private.

I'm sure his relationshipwith Secretary Pompeo

and with AmbassadorBolton, he's got his own

kind of relationship with them.

But, you know, to his credit,

regardless of whether Isay something he likes

or not, he's respectful, he listens to it

and we have a conversation about it.

That's what everyone shouldwant in their president,

is someone willing to hear the bad news.

Someone hearing to hear things

when they're not all rosy and good.

And then sometimes we celebrate

'cause there's a lot ofgood things happening

in the country.

Whether it's the fact that he was able

to get more defense spending in NATO.

Whether it's the factthat we're really starting

to see North Korea come to the table

or we push back on Iran

or that we've declaredJerusalem the capital of Israel.

There's so many good things

that sometimes when there's some negatives

that we need to talk about,

it's good to tell him andhe's great to listen to it.

- Last couple questions.

What have you learned in this job?

Maybe about yourself.

I know it's hard to reflectin the middle of the battle.

But, how have you grown in this?

Because, really, from day one,

you have come out andjust been no nonsense,

which is how you were in South Carolina.

I mean, I get it.

But, what have youlearned a little bit about

this job and yourselfin this last year or so?

- Well, I am who I am.

I believe in what I believe in.

When I fight for something,I fight 'til the very end.

I do that because I have somuch love for our country.

I just really, to my core, it is there.

So, when I see countries talk negatively

about the US and have theirhand out in the process,

or when I see othercountries not appreciate

the friendship that we have or the things

that we might do to be helpful,

I do call them out on it.

I do let them know.

When they try to falselyaccuse us of something,

I'm there right to make sure

that we're defending the United States.

This is an amazing country.

I know it now more today thanI did a year and a half ago.

Because I'm meeting withdictators and leaders

and countries who don'thave the freedoms we have

and it reminds me everyday what a blessing

it is to be in this country.

- My last question.

There's so many hotspots around the world.

What keeps you up at night?

Or does it depend on the week?

But, what does keep you up at night?

Is there something that just,

there's so much trouble and divisiveness

in this world andpersecution and everything.

- There are a lot ofchallenges in the world,

but I have faith.

I have faith and I willtell you that we just have

to keep doing our partand we have to make sure

that we're being true to ourselves,

true to our values, trueto what we believe in

and not compromise on that.

I have faith it's allgonna work out in the end.

- Ambassador Haley, thanks so much.

- Thank you.- That was great.


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