New York: US President Donald Trump is “CEO of the country, he can fire anyone he wants”, America’s envoy to the UN Nikki Haley has said, while defending him for firing former FBI director James Comey.
Haley said she believed that the criticism of Trump stems from discomfort with his propensity to act on his decisions.
“The president is the CEO of the country,” Indian-origin Haley told ABC News Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos on “This Week” yesterday. “He can hire and fire anyone he wants.”
She was responding to a question if she found herself having to explain to foreign diplomats Trump’s domestic policy decisions.
“I think what you can see is that this is a president of action,” she said of Trump. “The reason people are uncomfortable is because he acts.”
Asked whether the president sought a pledge of loyalty from her, Haley replied, “No”.
At the same time, she said that during her tenure as South Carolina’s governor demonstrations of “loyalty and trust” were important to her.
Regarding the president’s tweet this week warning the fired FBI director that he better hope there are no “tapes” of their private conversations, Haley seemed unconcerned by the possibility that the president was taping conversations.
“I assume I’m being taped everywhere,” she said.
Haley also addressed a range of other topics, including North Korea’s latest missile launch Saturday night.
She said there is a growing international consensus to impose further sanctions on North Korea over its nuclear programme and that the US will “tighten the screws” on North Korean President Kim Jong Un’s government.
Trump has said in the past that he would be willing to sit down with Kim Jong Un, but Haley said such a meeting would only happen if North Korea meets certain conditions.
“A missile test is not the way to sit down with the president,” Haley said.
On May 10, Trump fired 56-year-old Comey, abruptly removing the top sleuth overseeing a criminal probe into whether the Trump campaign colluded with the Russian government to influence the 2016 presidential election.