Nikki Haley Got ‘Ahead of the Curve’ in Announcing Russian Sanctions, Officials Say

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — The White House put further daylight between President Trump and his United Nations ambassador, Nikki R. Haley, on Tuesday, as Mr. Trump’s chief economic adviser, Larry Kudlow, said she had gotten “ahead of the curve” in announcing new sanctions against Russia.

On Monday, White House officials said Mr. Trump had not yet decided whether to impose sanctions on Russian companies found to be assisting Syria’s chemical weapons program. That contradicted Ms. Haley, who had said a day earlier that the president would take that step.

“She got ahead of the curve,” Mr. Kudlow said to reporters at a briefing hours before Mr. Trump welcomed Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan to his Palm Beach estate, Mar-a-Lago.

“She’s done a great job,” Mr. Kudlow added. “She’s a very effective ambassador, but there might have been some momentary confusion about that.”

Mr. Kudlow was the first senior White House official to place the blame directly on Ms. Haley, and he did so at a briefing on an unrelated topic, Mr. Trump’s two days of meetings with Mr. Abe here.

Asked to explain the discrepancy between her and the administration, Mr. Kudlow said, “The issue here is, we have a set of sanctions, and additional sanctions are under consideration but not been determined.”

“If you talk to Steve Mnuchin at Treasury, and so forth, he will tell you the same thing,” Mr. Kudlow said, referring to the Treasury secretary. “They are in charge of this.”


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