- On Sunday, US ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said the US was ready to impose additional sanctions on Russia.
- But other White House officials, including top economic adviser Larry Kudlow contradicted Haley’s remarks, saying there “might have been some momentary confusion” on her part.
- Haley shot back at Kudlow’s assertion: “I don’t get confused,” Haley said.
- The mixed messages reportedly annoyed President Donald Trump.
US ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley gave a terse response to the White House’s assertion that there “might have been some momentary confusion” on her part when she announced on Sunday that additional US sanctions “will be coming down” on Russia.
“With all due respect, I don’t get confused,” Haley said in a statement to Fox News on Tuesday.
Earlier on Tuesday, National Economic Council director Larry Kudlow told reporters that Haley “got ahead of the curve” when she announced that Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin would slap additional sanctions on Russian companies suspected of providing some of the equipment used in this month’s suspected chemical weapons attack in Syria.
“She’s done a great job, she’s a very effective ambassador. There might have been some momentary confusion about that,” Kudlow said. “But if you talk with Steve Mnuchin at Treasury and so forth, he will tell you the same thing – they’re in charge of this – we have had sanctions. Additional sanctions are under consideration but not implemented.”
Later on Tuesday, the contradictory statements became clearer after three White House officials told Politico that Trump considered levelling new Russia sanctions, but ultimately backed off from the decision on Sunday night – after Haley made her announcement, The Washington Post reported.
Haley was reportedly not informed of the changes.
“Russia sanctions were a part of the agreed-upon plan going into the strike and going into the weekend,” one senior official told Politico. “As recently as Saturday, that was reconfirmed as part of the plan.”
The bungled announcement about the sanctions reportedly left Trump “annoyed,” one senior administration official told CNN.
Kudlow reportedly reached out to Haley and said he was “totally wrong” to say she was confused, according to New York Times reporter Julie Davis.
“The policy was changed and she wasn’t told about it, so she was in a box,” Kudlow said of Haley.
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