NBC to Nikki Haley: Are You Leaving Because ‘Investigation Growing Closer’ to Trump?

During an exclusive interview with outgoing United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley for Wednesday’s Today show, NBC anchor Craig Melvin speculated that she may be leaving the administration because Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation was “growing closer” to President Trump.

“Why now? It would appear to some that the Special Counsel’s investigation is growing closer to the President. Did you say, maybe this is a good time to leave?,” Melvin asked. Haley quickly dismissed the notion: “Not at all. I have not had any time to even pay attention to the Mueller investigation.”

 

 

The morning show co-host skeptically pressed: “Not at all?” Haley responded:

I have tuned it out. I can’t do anything about it. The one thing I’ve said publicly, and I strongly believe, is I think the investigation, if it’s going forward, should go forward, but they need to hurry up for the good of the country. They need to hurry up and let us know what they know.

In another portion of the interview aired during the 9:00 a.m. ET hour of the broadcast, Melvin seemed to warn Haley that the President, who praised her when she announced her plan to leave at the end of the year, may attack her on social media:

The President said his former Secretary of State was “dumb as a rock,” “lazy as hell.” He criticized his attorney general while he was attorney general. And he’s criticized other former appointees. How concerned are you that at some point this president may publicly ridicule you?

Haley rejected the attempt to sow dissension: “I’m not. I’ve been honest, I’ve been loyal, and I’ve done my job to the best of my ability. And he appreciates and respects all of that.”

Following that portion of the exchange, co-host Al Roker commented on how “smooth and unflappable” Haley was throughout the sit-down.

Here are excerpts of the lengthy interview aired on December 12:

7:11 AM ET

(...)

CRAIG MELVIN: When you made your announcement that you were stepping aside, there was a lot of speculation as to why. Why now? It would appear to some that the Special Counsel’s investigation is growing closer to the President. Did you say, maybe this is a good time to leave?

NIKKI HALEY: Not at all. I have not had any time to even pay attention to the Mueller investigation.

MELVIN: Not at all?

HALEY: I have tuned it out. I can’t do anything about it. The one thing I’ve said publicly, and I strongly believe, is I think the investigation, if it’s going forward, should go forward, but they need to hurry up for the good of the country. They need to hurry up and let us know what they know.

MELVIN: The president says it’s a witch hunt.

HALEY: We’ll find out.

(...)

9:24 AM ET

(...)

MELVIN: From time to time, the President will say something that’s off the wall or he’ll tweet something that’s not true or offensive. But you’ve managed to distance yourself from a lot of that. How?

NIKKI HALEY: It’s not that I don’t pay attention or know what’s being said in the news or what the President may have tweeted or any of those things. I know all of it. But I’m disciplined enough to know not to get into the drama. I don’t want drama in my life. There’s enough between Russia and North Korea and Iran. At the end of the day, I’m a homebody, I’m a family person. And I know my task at hand and I’m very disciplined on trying to get that done. I don’t try and control what I can’t and I try to give everything I’ve got to what I can.

MELVIN: The President said his former Secretary of State was “dumb as a rock,” “lazy as hell.” He criticized his attorney general while he was attorney general. And he’s criticized other former appointees. How concerned are you that at some point this president may publicly ridicule you?

HALEY: I’m not.

MELVIN: Not one bit?

HALEY: I’m not. I’ve been honest, I’ve been loyal, and I’ve done my job to the best of my ability. And he appreciates and respects all of that.

(...)

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