'The Human Rights council is a farce,' Nikki Haley talks the UN, Israel and The United States' Role in the World
- 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In some cases, that meanswe've withdrawn from UNESCO.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.