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Haley takes hard line on Russia, Syria in Senate confirmation hearing

Cabinet nominees of President-elect Donald Trump were grilled Wednesday by lawmakers at their Senate confirmation hearing.

South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley was among those in the hot seat.

After six years as governor, lawmakers will decide if Haley is fit for the role as Ambassador to the United Nations. Haley answered tough questions and responded to critics about her experience.

"International diplomacy is a new area for me,” Haley said. “I don't claim that I know everything, or that leadership at the UN is the same as South Carolina, but diplomacy is not new to me."

The rising Republican star said the U.N. could benefit from a fresh set of eyes, a new voice, and a strong diplomatic attitude.

“We need to let them know that we're not going to be gray anymore when we say something, that's where we stand, and when we say we're going to do something, we need to follow through and do that.”

She took a tougher stance than Trump on issues like Russia.

Senator Tom Udall, (D-New Mexico), asked Haley, “What will your message to your Russian counterpart on the Security Council be with regard to their attempts to influence the U.S. elections?"

“That we are aware that it has happened. That we don't find it acceptable, and that we are going to fight back every time we see something like that happening,” she responded. “I don't think Russia's going to be the only one. I think we're going to start to see that around the world with other countries.”

When it comes to Syria, the Governor said Russia cannot be trusted.

“Russia protecting these issues that are happening, it's dangerous,” she said. “It's something we've got to be very conscious of because it's not about protecting human life. It's very much about protecting their own interests. It's not what America is. We value human life.”

Haley also vowed hardline support for Israel and openly criticized the U.N. for its treatment of the Middle Eastern nation. It will likely be several days before the Senate votes on her appointment.

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