Nikki Haley at United Nations: US is ‘taking names’ of ‘those that don’t have our back’

Abigail Williams
Nikki Haley, Governor, South Carolina
Getty Images

Speaking Friday for the first time at the United Nations as Ambassador, former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley outlined her vision for the role of the U.S. at the international organization, one which projects strength.

"Our goal with the admin is to show value at the UN and the way that we will do that is to show strength, show our voice, have the backs of our allies and make sure our allies have our back as well," Haley said. "For those who don't have our backs, we're taking names."

The newly sworn in U.S. ambassador spoke briefly with the press at U.N. Headquarters Friday morning promising changes in the way the United States does business.

"Everything that is working, we are going to make it better. Everything that is not working, we are going to try and fix. And anything that seems to be obsolete and not necessary, we are going to do away with," Haley pledged.

U.S. President Donald Trump has openly criticized the United Nations' effectiveness in the past, describing it as recently as December as "just a club for people to get together and talk." He also warned, "As to the U.N., things will be different after Jan. 20th."

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In the course of her Senate confirmation hearing, Haley testified several times that she did not believe in a "slash and burn" approach to U.S. funding at the U.N. instead advocating for "strategic cutting" and at times a withholding of dues.

"I do not think we need to pull money from the U.N.," Haley told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee last week. "It's not something I would consider as ambassador or anything that I would suggest back to you for Congress."