UN Ambassador Nikki Haley said the United States would be imposing economic sanctions on Russian companies. The White House says we will not.
So, who's telling the truth?
It looks like they both are.
Trump's top economic adviser Larry Kudlow, who is always wrong, was forced to apologize yesterday for saying that Haley was merely "confused" and that no new sanctions are coming because he, not surprisingly, was wrong.
The public spat between Haley and Kudlow opened a windowed into what really happened and, according multiple reports, Nikki Haley said what she knew to be the truth. Sanctions were approved by the White House last week but Trump changed his mind and no one bothered to tell the goddamn ambassador.
From the Associated Press:
The officials said that, under the plan conceived last week, the sanctions would have been announced Friday night, at the same time U.S., French, and British forces launched a missile strike on Syrian President Bashar Assad’s chemical weapons facilities. But the sanctions were not ready in time for Trump’s Friday night statement, so they were delayed.
The officials said a decision was then made to announce the sanctions as an answer to Russia’s response to the strikes. But that plan was re-evaluated and then put on hold over the weekend as it became clear that Russia’s response was less robust than anticipated. The officials were not authorized to discuss private administration deliberations publicly and spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity.
A National Security Council memorandum sent overnight Friday said the new sanctions would be announced soon, but it did not specify a date. Over the next 36 hours, officials began to delve deeper into the proposed sanctions and decided to hold off on anything imminent, but Haley was unaware, the officials said.
Axios has more on the blame game:
A number of senior White House officials anonymously told reporters that Haley made a mistake by making the announcement ahead of President Trump and that it shouldn't have been made public on the Sunday morning show. A senior official said Trump was angry about the situation.
Meanwhile, Haley’s allies say she cleared her remarks with the White House, and Trump changed his mind. Her allies also said that senior White House officials are unfairly throwing her under the bus.
You may recall another time when the UN ambassador made an announcement on a Sunday morning talk show over matters far less sensitive than this.
You know, an announcement about the apparent motivations of an angry crowd that may or may not have watched a video on YouTube.
An announcement that led to a years-long investigation of talking points in which the UN ambassador is still considered a villain.
For the record, the sanctions that were approved (and unapproved) would have targeted Russian companies that supply Assad's chemical weapons program. That seems like something we should impose sanctions on.