When UN Envoy Nikki Haley Talks, Does President Trump Listen? – New York Times

 In World

A crucial test of her influence on him will come this week during Mr. Trump’s maiden visit to the United Nations, the organization he has repeatedly pilloried and whose very reason for being — international cooperation — he has dismissed with his promise of “only America first.”

Ms. Haley predicted with confidence at a White House news conference on Friday that Mr. Trump would make “quite an impact” at the world body. What impact she has had on his approach to the world is still unknown.

On Monday, Mr. Trump, who proposed a drastic funding cut to the United Nations, is expected to host an event dedicated to a still-vague, American-led effort to overhaul the organization. On Tuesday, he is scheduled to deliver his address to the General Assembly and have lunch with the secretary general, António Guterres (Mr. Trump had declined for months to schedule a customary meeting), but he is not expected to attend a meeting hosted by Mr. Guterres on climate change. Mr. Trump said in June that he would withdraw the United States from the Paris climate accord, to the dismay of most American allies.

Many credit Ms. Haley for leading what Richard Gowan, a fellow at the European Council for Foreign Relations, called “the administration’s grudging but growing recognition of the U.N.’s significance.”

“It shows Trump engaging with the U.N. rather than bombing it from afar,” added Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch. “Undoubtedly, Nikki Haley gets part of the credit. Destroying the U.N. doesn’t play to the political mainstream.”

At the Friday news conference with Mr. Trump, in remarks that immediately made headlines, Ms. Haley showered her boss with praise. “I personally think he slaps the right people, he hugs the right people, and he comes out with the U.S. being very strong in the end,” she said.

Ms. Haley, 44, the daughter of Indian immigrants, has reinvented herself many times.

Sikh to Methodist. Accountant to politician. Anti-union, anti-abortion Southern Republican star to South Carolina governor well known for pulling down the Confederate battle flag from the State House.

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