WASHINGTON – Democrats on the House Foreign Affairs Committee questioning U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley attacked her for some of President Donald Trump’s policies, including Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-VA), who criticized Trump’s decision to pull out of the Paris climate change agreement.
“We don’t want China and Russia telling us how we need to handle our climate,” Haley said at Wednesday’s hearing, held to inquire about how best to advance U.S. interests at the U.N.
The heated exchange began when Connolly asked Haley if her U.N. colleagues had praised Trump’s decisions on the climate change agreement and the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal that Trump also curtailed.
“The U.S. has to make decisions that are in the best interest of the U.S.,” Haley said. “It’s not in the best interest for our businesses or our industries.”
“We are not going to throw the climate out the window,” Haley said. “We’re going to continue to manage that.”
“You may not agree with how we manage that, but I will tell you that I think what the president did is in the best interest of businesses, and it was in the best interest of the country,” Haley said. “And that does not mean we are not going to be good stewards of the climate.”
Connolly said that the U.S. was not forced to join the Paris climate agreement, at which time Haley pointed out that the Senate had not approved the Paris plan as is required by international treaties. Former President Barack Obama called it an “executive agreement” when he bypassed Congress and signed onto the Paris accord last year.