Hillary Clinton made a surprise appearance at last night’s Grammy Awards, and Nikki Haley, President Donald Trump’s Ambassador to the United Nations, was not amused.
The awards ceremony featured Hillary Clinton among others reading sections from Michael Wolff’s controversial book, Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House. The book became a runaway bestseller after the Trump administration tried unsuccessfully to halt its publication. Comedian James Corden, who hosted last night’s event, had several celebrities jokingly audition for the narrator role for the audiobook to compete for next year’s Spoken Word Album. “We know that our current President does love winning awards and the good news for him is he may just be the subject of next year’s winner,” Corden quipped.
Hillary Clinton. Reading ‘Fire and Fury.’ (via CBS) pic.twitter.com/TSNzBAQih2
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) January 29, 2018
The skit became a viral hit almost immediately, and Haley took to Twitter to decry the insertion of politics into what she believed should have remained a night of casual entertainment. “I have always loved the Grammys but to have artists read the Fire and Fury book killed it. Don’t ruin great music with trash. Some of us love music without the politics thrown in it,” tweeted Haley.
I have always loved the Grammys but to have artists read the Fire and Fury book killed it. Don’t ruin great music with trash. Some of us love music without the politics thrown in it.
— Archive: Ambassador Nikki Haley (@AmbNikkiHaley) January 29, 2018
Haley’s reaction quickly garnered criticism.
Nikki Haley may not be laughing at Clinton’s skit, but the entire world is laughing at Nikki Haley. On one year this Administration has destroyed our standing as the leader of the free world.https://t.co/Jz1gS1efNO
— Richard W. Painter (@RWPUSA) January 29, 2018
Nikki, you don't get it. The arts reflect society. Artists have always commented on what's going on in our nation, in both politics and culture. Obviously. You must know this. #Grammys2018
— Josh Levs (@JoshLevs) January 29, 2018
Tell you what, you keep religion, discrimination and bigotry out of politics and maybe the musicians won’t feel the need to put politics in their music.
— Kris Wood (@kriswood) January 29, 2018
Recent news reports suggest Haley’s disgust for the segment might be personal. In an interview with Politico, Haley shot down any and all insinuations that she’d had an affair with the president. As Politico reported:
The online speculation was instigated by “Fire and Fury” author Michael Wolff, who dropped hints on HBO’s “Real Time with Bill Maher” last week when he said he was “absolutely sure” Trump is having an affair — just not sure enough to write about it in his book. Wolff went on to say that discriminating readers would be able to determine the president’s paramour by giving his book a close reading: “Now that I’ve told you, when you hit that paragraph, you’re gonna say, ‘Bingo.’”
Readers quickly homed in on a single sentence in the runaway best-seller, which has been criticized for everything from sloppy copy editing to gross factual inaccuracies. Wolff writes, “The president had been spending a notable amount of private time with Haley on Air Force One and was seen to be grooming her for a national political future.”
“It is absolutely not true,” Haley told the news outlet. “I have literally been on Air Force One once and there were several people in the room when I was there. He says that I’ve been talking a lot with the president in the Oval about my political future. I’ve never talked once to the president about my future and I am never alone with him.”
Haley added that Wolff was adding to the attacks successful women face when others imply they’ve achieved their success by sleeping their way to the top. “So the idea that these things come out, that’s a problem,” she said. “But it goes to a bigger issue that we need to always be conscious of: At every point in my life, I’ve noticed that if you speak your mind and you’re strong about it and you say what you believe, there is a small percentage of people that resent that and the way they deal with it is to try and throw arrows, lies or not.”