NEW YORK: As White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon’s star begins to fade in the inner coterie of President Donald Trump, the US Permanent Representative to the United Nations Nikki Haley’s stock is rising fast: the former Governor of South Carolina has been inducted into the Security Council’s (NSC) principals committee as part of its latest reshuffling.
The former governor of Texas and Energy Secretary Rick Perry too was added to the NSC principals committee, along with Haley.
Bannon was removed from the NSC, though he will still be able to attend some meetings. Reports said Bannon has threatened the quit his position in the Trump administration.
Haley and Perry, however, will now be “regular attendees” of the committee’s meetings, according to a memorandum published Wednesday in the Federal Register.
Haley’s addition to the committee comes the same day the U.N. envoy condemned Tuesday’s chemical weapons attack in Syria, which the U.S. has blamed on Syrian President Bashar Assad’s regime. Reported The Hill.
National security adviser H.R. McMaster made the decision to remove Bannon, a request President Trump approved. McMaster was tapped to lead the NSC following the ouster of national security adviser Michael Flynn in February, reported The Hill.
The decision to add Bannon in a January reorganization of the NSC was met with ire from Democrats and some national security experts, who argued that his involvement could politicize the NSC.
The director of national intelligence and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff have also been reinstated as regular attendees, while the CIA director has been added to the committee.
Under a 2009 presidential policy directive when former President Obama took office, the director of national intelligence and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs were listed as “regular members.” But Trump’s January reshuffling order said the director and the chairman would attend meetings only “where issues pertaining to their responsibilities and expertise are to be discussed,” the Hill reported.
Haley is fast becoming the voice of the Trump administration on foreign policy issues.
CNN reported Haley strongly condemned Russia and the Syrian government Wednesday over the chemical weapons attack on civilians, suggesting that the US is open to using military action to solve the country’s ongoing civil war.
“When the United Nations consistently fails in its duty to act collectively, there are times in the life of states that we are compelled to take our own action,” Haley said. “For the sake of the victims, I hope the rest of the council is finally willing to do the same.”
Haley, who is also the UN Security Council president this month, was speaking as the council considers a resolution condemning the Assad regime for the attack, which killed dozens, including many children. Russia, which backs the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and has troops in Syria, is likely to veto the resolution.
“How many more children have to die before Russia cares?” Haley said, leaving her presidency chair as she displayed photos of the victims.
For now, Haley’s comments are the most direct threat of unilateral action by the US about acting on the Syria crisis — but they mark a departure from the Trump administration’s more hands-off stance on Syria and may be more rhetoric than reality.
Trump, speaking at the White House during a visit by Jordan’s King Abdullah, said Wednesday that “we see what happened just recently yesterday in Syria horrible. Horrible, horrible thing. Unspeakable.”
The Charleston City Paper also noted a qualification of Haley that other members of the Trump administration cannot match: her personal wealth, or rather, the lack of it.
According to the New York Times, the White House administration President Donald Trump has assembled is “considered one of the wealthiest in United States History.” Trump’s top advisors include real estate investors, heirs to great fortunes, media moguls, apart from his very wealthy son-in-law Jared Kushner.
Haley’s wealth, however, ranks dead last compared to her colleagues.
The value of Haley’s assets could range from $66,000 to $165,000, according to the Times’ analysis of cabinet nominee disclosures which report assets as a range. P&C analysis of those reports showed Haley’s main assets as two retirement accounts worth at least $65,000 and personal accounts of up to $15,000. Haley’s significant debts are a mortgage and credit cards.