12:49 GMT03 August 2020
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    Despite all the accusations of cozy – perhaps too cozy – relations between US President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin, and Russia in general, the US ambassador to the United Nations says the president has never told her what to say about it.

    US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said in a recent interview that the US president has never stopped her from "beating up on Russia."

    "The president has not once called me and said, 'Don't beat up on Russia;' has not once called me and told me what to say," Haley said in an interview on ABC's "This Week" March 31.

    During the interview with ABC host Martha Raddatz, who tried to make Haley pass judgment on whether the US president should take a tougher stance on Russia and "condemn what's happening inside Russia" in order to preserve the US's role of the "moral conscience of the world," the ambassador replied by saying it's her job to express that stance to the world body.

    Trump "has got a lot of things he's doing, but he is not stopping me from beating up on Russia," she added.

    Trump has been repeatedly accused of having ties with Russia, with his former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn forced to resign over lying to the administration and Congress about his contacts with Russian Ambassador to the US Sergey Kislyak.

    The Trump-Russian ties story has even gotten on Trump's own nerves. He's asked US media to "stop with the Fake Trump/Russia story" and focus more on former President Barack Obama's alleged spying on his campaign.

    Haley has been a consistent critic of Russia, blaming Russia for the situation in Ukraine and claiming that US sanctions on the country won't be lifted unless Russia "returns" the Crimean Peninsula to its western neighbor. Her stance appears sometimes at odds with Trump's intentions to ease relations with Russia, which he expressed during his presidential campaign.

    During her first speech in the United Nations in February, Haley said it was "unfortunate" that she had to start her service as US ambassador by criticizing Russia, as so many of her predecessors had to "far too many times" before.

    "It should not have to be that way," she said, before going on to give a lengthy speech about Russia's alleged wrongdoings in Ukraine. "We do want to better our relations with Russia."


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    criticism, Interview, United Nations, Donald Trump, Nikki Haley, Russia, United States
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