Chairman: Expect Gov. Nikki Haley to be 'confirmed overwhelmingl - FOX Carolina 21

Chairman: Expect Gov. Nikki Haley to be 'confirmed overwhelmingly' to UN post

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Gov. Nikki Haley appeared at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Wednesday. (Source: WIS) Gov. Nikki Haley appeared at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Wednesday. (Source: WIS)
COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) -

The chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee expects Gov. Nikki Haley to be confirmed to be the next United States ambassador to the United Nations.

Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee praised Haley's answers to all questions during a nearly four-hour hearing Wednesday morning, effectively sealing her fate to leave South Carolina after six years as governor.

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"I think you've impressed everybody in the individual meetings you've had," Corker said. "I'm certain you're going to be confirmed overwhelmingly."

The hearing began shortly after 10 a.m. with an introduction by Sens. Lindsey Graham and Tim Scott. 

Graham started the hearing by saying Haley's story was "uniquely American" and that she has the right skills to lead the United States' role in the UN.

"I think Nikki Haley, our governor in South Carolina, is the right person at the right time. She represents a combination of intellect, determination, grace, and understanding of America that the world needs to hear. I know that if she is the ambassador for our country, the United Nations, the United Nations will be better off and our country will be in good hands."

Scott echoed those thoughts, calling Haley's rise in South Carolina the "epitome of the American Dream" and saying she displays "American values in her leadership."

"During some of the darkest hours, our state has ever known -- the Emanuel massacre -- she led not only as the governor, not only as a strong leader, but as a mother, as a human being, that was impacted by such an atrocity. She led our state to come together. With those types of leadership skills, bringing people together under the worst of times, under the most difficult conditions, is something that she specializes in," Scott said. 

The formal hearing started with questions from ranking member Sen. Ben Cardin, who although was impressed with Haley in their private discussions, said he had concerns about her lack of foreign policy experience.

Still, her work during the removal of the Confederate flag was of particular note to Cardin.

"Your actions not only demonstrated your willingness to address hate and bigotry, but also your ability to build and work with coalitions which will be critically important if confirmed to be our United Nations ambassador," Cardin said.

Haley sought to calm all concerns about her experience in her opening statements.

"International diplomacy is a new area for me. There is much I am learning about the intricacies of the UN and its associated agencies. I don't claim that I know everything or that leadership at the UN is the same as leading South Carolina. But diplomacy itself is not new to me. And in fact, I would suggest there is nothing more important to a governor's success than her ability to unite those with different backgrounds, viewpoints, and objectives behind a common purpose. For six years, that has been my work," Haley said.

Pivoting to international relations, Haley first blasted the United Nations' recent resolution in the Security Council against Israeli settlements, saying that the UN had adopted far less resolutions against human rights abusers like Syria, Iran, and North Korea.

"This cannot continue," Haley said. "It is in this context that the events of Dec. 23 were so damaging. Last month's passage of UN Resolution 2334 was a terrible mistake, making a peace agreement with Israelis and the Palestinians even harder to achieve. The mistake was compounded by the location in which it took place, in light of the UN's long history of anti-Israel bias."

Continuing, the committee began peppering Haley with questions about whether Haley agreed with certain campaign promises President-elect Donald Trump made during the 2016 campaign. One of the first questions involved Trump's promise to begin a registry of Muslims coming from countries with known ties to terrorism.

"This administration and I don't think that there should be any registry based on the religion, but what we do need to do is to know exactly which countries are a threat, and which ones have terrorism, and those are the ones that we need to watch and be careful and vet as we go forward in terms of who come into the country," Haley said.

Haley also broke with Trump on Russia, who the US intelligence community alleged had a hand in leaking Democratic National Committee e-mails in an effort to derail former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's campaign. 

Trump, meanwhile, is claimed to have a cozy relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin. It's that relationship that highlighted portions of the hearing. Still, Haley was simple on how she felt about Russia.

"I don’t think that we can trust them," Haley said.

Haley was nominated by Trump back in November and was one of the first nominees for his cabinet.

As for when a vote will take place for her confirmation, expect that to occur in the next few weeks.

Copyright 2017 WIS. All rights reserved. 

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