Former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley charges in a newly published book that President Trump’s first secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, and one-time chief of staff John Kelly secretly asked her to help “undermine” the president.
“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 in her soon to be released book, “With All Due Respect.”
“Tillerson went on to tell me the reason he resisted the president’s decisions was because, if he didn’t, people would die,” she added, saying the work against the president was taking a “dangerous path.”
Haley described a meeting with Tillerson and Kelly, both of whom had parted ways with the president on pulling out of the Paris climate accords and other policy decisions.
Haley wrote that the two men believed they were trying to “save the country,” but she recalled thinking they were only trying to impose their own policies.
“I was shocked,” she wrote.
Speaking Sunday on CBS’s “Sunday Morning,” Haley blasted the undermining officials as orchestrating a “sidebar plan.”
“It absolutely happened,” Haley said. “And 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. 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. And it was offensive.”
Kelly, a retired four-star Marine general, in a separate interview did not deny obstructing the president’s policies but put it in a different light.
“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,” Kelly told CBS.
Haley’s book will be published Tuesday.