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Nikki Haley: White House aides Tillerson and Kelly tried to undermine President Trump

President Donald J. Trump and then-U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley arrive Monday, Sept. 24, 2018, to the United Nations Headquarters in New York City, where they participated in the Global Call to Action on the World Drug Problem. (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead/Released)
November 11, 2019

President Trump’s former U.N. ambassador Nikki Haley said two former top White House aides tried to recruit her to oppose Trump and “save the country,” revelations made in her soon-to-be released book.

Former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and former chief of staff John Kelly asked Haley to undermine Trump because “the president didn’t know what he was doing,” Haley revealed in her new memoir.

“Kelly and Tillerson confided in me that when they resisted the president, they weren’t being insubordinate, they were trying to save the country,” Haley wrote. “It was their decisions, not the president’s, that were in the best interests of America, they said. The president didn’t know what he was doing.”

Haley added that Tillerson told her in the closed-door meeting, “The reason he resisted the president’s decisions was because, if he didn’t, people would die.”

Haley, the former South Carolina governor, said she was “shocked” by the request from Tillerson and Kelly. They never raised the issue to her again, she wrote in “With All Due Respect.”

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Haley slammed Tillerson and Kelly on CBS Sunday Morning.

“Instead of saying that to me, they should’ve been saying that to the president, not asking me to join them on their sidebar plan,” Haley said in the interview. “It should’ve been, ‘Go tell the president what your differences are, and quit if you don’t like what he’s doing.’ But to undermine a president is really a very dangerous thing.

“And it goes against the Constitution, and it goes against what the American people want,” she added. “And it was offensive.”

Kelly, a Brighton native, responded to CBS Sunday Morning, saying, “If by resistance and stalling she means putting a staff process in place … to ensure the (president) knew all the pros and cons of what policy decision he might be contemplating so he could make an informed decision, then guilty as charged.”

Trump fired Tillerson in March 2018. Later, Tillerson said the president was “undisciplined” and did not like to read briefing reports. Trump called Tillerson “dumb as a rock.”

When Kelly was chief of staff, Trump was annoyed with the orderly processes the general imposed on his freewheeling style. Trump let him go in December 2018.

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© 2019 the Boston Herald