Nikki Haley says top Trump aides tried to subvert him

In this Monday, Nov. 26, 2018 file photo, United States Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley speaks during a security council meeting at United Nations headquarters. (AP)
Updated 10 November 2019

Nikki Haley says top Trump aides tried to subvert him

  • She says Rex Tillerson and John Kelly sought her help in undercutting or working around Trump but she refused

WASHINGTON: Two top advisers to President Donald Trump ignored or undermined him because “they were trying to save the country,” former United Nations ambassador Nikki Haley writes in a new book.
She says both then-Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and White House chief of staff John Kelly sought her help in undercutting or working around Trump but she refused, according to the Washington Post, which obtained a copy of the book, “With All Due Respect,” ahead of its Tuesday release.
“Kelly and Tillerson confided in me that when they resisted the president, they weren’t being insubordinate, they were trying to save the country,” she 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.”
She said Tillerson told her people would die if Trump was not restrained.
Haley, a former South Carolina governor of Indian descent, left the UN job at the end of 2018 on good terms with Trump. She has often been touted as a potential future Republican presidential candidate.
Kelly left the White House a few weeks after Haley, reportedly barely on speaking terms with Trump; the president had fired Tillerson — via Twitter — in March 2018, after the two had repeatedly clashed.
In the book, Haley supports many of the Trump foreign policy decisions that others in the administration opposed, including the unilateral withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal and the Paris climate agreement, as well as the decision to move the US Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
But Haley also pointed to several disagreements with the president: over his embrace of Russian President Vladimir Putin when they met in Helsinki in 2017, and over Trump’s “moral equivalence” in suggesting there were good people on “both sides” after the deadly white supremacist march in Charlottesville, Virginia.
“The president’s words had been hurtful and dangerous,” she wrote, according to the Post.
In a CBS interview on Sunday, Haley also said it was “not appropriate” for Trump to have said that four Democratic members of Congress, all women of color, should “go back” to their countries. All are US citizens.
But while she did not always agree with Trump, Haley said people like Kelly and Tillerson had an obligation either to carry out his agenda or, if they could not do so, to quit.
“I just couldn’t get my arms around the fact that here you have two key people in an administration undermining the president,” she said.
In an interview with the Post in her publisher’s New York office, Haley dismissed House Democrats’ moves to impeach Trump over his pressure on the Ukrainian government to obtain political dirt on an opponent.
“Do I think it’s not good practice to talk to foreign governments about investigating Americans? Yes. Do I think the president did something that warrants impeachment? No.”
The Post said Tillerson did not respond to a request for comment.
Kelly, for his part, said that if providing the president “with the best and most open, legal and ethical staffing advice from across the (government) so he could make an informed decision is ‘working against Trump,’ then guilty as charged.”
Haley’s memoir will be released a week before another, more critical, book by a White House insider — “A Warning,” written by an anonymous author described only as “a senior official in the Trump administration.”
The Post, which also obtained an advance copy of that book, said it “paints a chilling portrait of the president as cruel, inept and a danger to the nation.”
But early reviews say the book does not break much new ground about the president.


Hackers attempt to take down UK Labour Party’s web services ahead of election

Updated 36 min 54 sec ago

Hackers attempt to take down UK Labour Party’s web services ahead of election

  • Britain’s security agencies have warned that Russia and other countries could use cyberattacks messages on social media to attempt to disrupt the election
  • The nature of such attacks often made it difficult to attribute responsibility to any particular group, a NCSC spokesman said

LONDON: Hackers attacked Britain’s opposition Labour Party, bombarding its web services with malicious traffic in an attempt to force them offline just weeks ahead of a national election, party and security officials said on Tuesday,
“We have experienced a sophisticated and large-scale cyberattack on Labour digital platforms,” Labour said in a statement. “We took swift action and these attempts failed due to our robust security systems.
The party was confident data breach occurred, it said.
Britain’s security agencies have warned that Russia and other countries could use cyberattacks or political messages on social media to attempt to disrupt the Dec. 12 election.
Moscow has repeatedly denied Western allegations of election interference and a person with knowledge of the matter said an initial investigation had found nothing to link the Labour Party attack to a foreign state.
Britain’s National Cyber Security Center, part of the GCHQ signals intelligence agency, said the attack was a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack — a technique used by hackers to take down websites by overwhelming them with malicious traffic.
“DDoS attacks are a common form of attack used by a very wide range of attackers. Mitigation techniques are available and worked in this case,” a NCSC spokesman said.
The nature of such attacks often made it difficult to attribute responsibility to any particular group, he said.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said the attack was very serious but was successfully repelled by the party’s defense systems when the digital assault began on Monday.
“But if this is a sign of things to come in this election, I feel very nervous about it all,” he said. “Because a cyberattack against a political party in an election is suspicious and something one is very worried about.”
A Labour spokesman said that while the attack had slowed down some campaign activity, they were restored on Tuesday.
The person with knowledge of the matter said any Labour Party web services currently offline were not directly connected to the attack.
Britain goes to the polls on Dec. 12 in an election called by Prime Minister Boris Johnson to try to break the Brexit deadlock in parliament more than three years since the country voted to leave the European Union.
A report by parliament’s Intelligence and Security Committee has investigated Russian activity in British politics and reportedly includes charges of spying and interference in polls, including the 2016 Brexit referendum and the 2017 national election.
The government, however, has declined to publish it before the upcoming election.