There have been some very mixed messages coming out of the White House over additional Russia sanctions.
On Sunday, Trump’s U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley announced on Face the Nation that new sanctions would be coming soon against Russia for their support of Syrian President Bashar Assad. Haley was clear that Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin would be “announcing those on Monday.”
Then, later Sunday, Donald Trump apparently expressed his misgivings about executing additional sanctions against Russia and deployed Sarah Sanders the next day to walk back Haley’s claim.
Trump was watching television on Sunday when he saw Nikki Haley announce that he would impose fresh sanctions on Russia. Trump grew angry, an official informed about the moment tells NYT. As far as he was concerned, he had decided no such thing. https://t.co/ipJwaZH5gm
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) April 18, 2018
Sanders told the press that the administration was simply “considering additional sanctions on Russia” and that “a decision will be made in the near future.”
When pressed for an explanation on the competing claims, Trump’s National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow said Haley “got ahead of the curve.”
“She’s done a great job. She’s been a great ambassador, but there might have been some momentary confusion about that. But if you talk to [US Treasury Secretary] Steve Mnuchin … he will tell you the same thing. They’re in charge of this.”
Haley immediately hit back in a statement read live on Fox News:
“With all due respect, I don’t get confused.”
Kudlow tried to walk back his walk back, saying “She was certainly not confused. I was wrong to say that — totally wrong.”
But the damage was done. Haley’s credibility is shot.
Trump has shattered Nikki Haley’s credibility as irrevocably as he obliterated his moral authority after Charlottesville. Trump has humiliated her and she is at a fork in the road. Her choice is either to resign or take on the permanent stench of one more tainted factotum .
— Steve Schmidt (@SteveSchmidtSES) April 18, 2018
The Russian government was given a backdoor assurance on Sunday that no more sanctions were coming and to just ignore Nikki Haley. pic.twitter.com/bC8JeSbehg
— Maddow Blog (@MaddowBlog) April 18, 2018
Haley was cheered on, by conservatives…
— S.E. Cupp (@secupp) April 17, 2018
And media alike:
I know it was like 12 news cycles ago at this point, but @nikkihaley quote "With all due respect, I don't get confused" should go down as one of the best by a female leader. Ever. Said so much, with so few words.
— Dana Bash (@DanaBashCNN) April 18, 2018