Democratic California Rep. Ted Lieu called for an investigation into U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley and her deputy Thursday, claiming that their spending habits demand a hearing.
Lieu was responding to a tweet citing a New York Times article and claiming that Haley had spent over $50,000 on curtains and nearly $60,000 per month on her New York residence. But both the curtains and the condo were purchased by the Obama administration prior to Haley’s appointment.
This is not okay. As a Member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, I call on @HouseForeign Chairman @RepEdRoyce to hold an oversight hearing on @StateDept spending on @nikkihaley and her deputy. https://t.co/c2ipX1s79d
— Ted Lieu (@tedlieu) September 14, 2018
What Lieu left out was the fact that, in spite of the NYT’s headline — “Nikki Haley’s View of New York Is Priceless. Her Curtains? $52,701” — State Department correspondent Gardiner Harris included in his article a statement from Haley’s spokesman.
A spokesman for Ms. Haley said plans to buy the curtains were made in 2016, during the Obama administration. Ms. Haley had no say in the purchase, he said.
In addition to the curtains, the tweet Lieu quoted also claimed that Haley’s NYC residence costs the State Department $58,000 monthly. But what it leaves out is the fact that Haley’s residence is far less costly — by the State Dept.’s own admission — than condos occupied by previous U.N. ambassadors such as Samantha Power, Susan Rice and John Bolton.
A Mission spokesperson told The New York Post in January, “The U.S. Mission [to the U.N.] leases Ambassador Haley’s residence at a considerable costs savings from our prior residence at the Waldorf-Astoria.”
Haley currently occupies a full-floor penthouse at 50 U.N. Plaza, just blocks from the U.N., where she is often expected to entertain other U.N. delegates and foreign dignitaries. The penthouse was leased by the Obama administration with an option to buy.
Previous U.N. ambassadors were housed at the Waldorf-Astoria, where apartments can easily cost upwards of $100,000 monthly — nearly twice the cost of Haley’s residence.
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