FILE - In a Monday, March 27, 2017 file photo, United States Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley speaks to reporters outside the General Assembly at U.N. headquarters. Haley said Sunday, April 2, 2017, in an interview aired Sunday on ABC’s “This Week” there’s no question Russia was involved in the U.S. presidential election and that the actions of the Kremlin will be addressed after the investigations are completed. ((AP Photo/Seth Wenig))

"It's disgusting": Nikki Haley denounces rumor she’s sleeping with Trump

The UN ambassador says such speculation is a typical smear faced by women in politics


Matthew Sheffield
January 26, 2018 10:30PM (UTC)

United States Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley denounced a rumor that she is having an affair with her boss, President Donald Trump.

"It is absolutely not true," Haley said during an interview for the Politico podcast "Women Rule" which aired Thursday.

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Haley became the center of speculation after Michael Wolff, the journalist whose book Fire and Fury has shaken the Trump administration in recent weeks, hinted during a Jan. 19 taping of HBO's "Real Time with Bill Maher" that he believed that the president was currently conducting an affair with a female administration staffer. Wolff said he could not confirm the "incendiary" allegation.

“You just have to read between the lines,” he told Maher. “Now that I’ve told you when you hit that paragraph, you’re gonna say, ‘Bingo!’”

Some Wolff readers began saying the woman in question was Haley based on his claim that “The president had been spending a notable amount of private time with Haley on Air Force One and was seen to be grooming her for a national political future.”

In the Politico interview, Haley said the idea she was cheating on her husband with Trump was "disgusting" and "highly offensive," saying further that she had only been aboard Air Force One a single time and that she was "never alone" with Trump.

Haley also said that this is one of several scurrilous rumors that she had utilized sexual favors as a means of career advancement during her time

“But it goes to a bigger issue that we need to always be conscious of: At every point in my life, I’ve noticed that if you speak your mind and you’re strong about it and you say what you believe, there is a small percentage of people that resent that and the way they deal with it is to try and throw arrows, lies or not,” she told interviewer Eliana Johnson. “I saw this as a legislator. I saw this when I was governor. I see it now. I see them do it to other women,” Haley continued. “And the thing is, when women work, they prioritize, they focus, and they believe if you’re gonna to something, do it right.”

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Trump and administration officials have repeatedly denounced Fire and Fury as a "fake book" even as they seemed to believe Wolff's reporting enough to cut off all ties with the president's former chief strategist Steve Bannon after he was quoted in it saying several negative things about Trump. Nonetheless, Wolff's reporting methods have received criticism from other journalists, including allegations that he betrayed confidentiality promises and that he failed to vet statements made to him by sources.


Matthew Sheffield

A writer, web developer, and former tv producer, Matthew Sheffield covers politics, media, and technology for Salon. You can email him via m.sheffield@salon.com or follow him on Twitter.

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Donald Trump Fire And Fury Michael Wolff Nikki Haley Trump Administration

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