US Ambassador: Trump ‘listened to his generals’ on Afghanistan
(CNN) — US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said Tuesday that President Donald Trump’s announced plan for a path forward in Afghanistan came to be because he “listened to his generals.”
“We’re going to stomp out terrorism,” she told CNN’s Chris Cuomo on “New Day.” “What you saw was he listened to his generals. He saw what they were saying, but he also talked about the path forward, and I think he came out with a very strong speech last night that the military, the diplomats and citizens of this country should be very proud of.”
Haley repeatedly praised Trump for his speech, saying his plan is “focused on results.”
“I think we all as Americans should want this President and our military to be successful,” she told Cuomo. “We’re not talking about duration, because we’re not focused on time. We’re not talking about troop numbers because we’re not focused on troop numbers. What we are focused on is results, stomping out terrorism, doing whatever it takes.”
When asked about Trump’s past statements on Afghanistan — in which he slammed the Bush and Obama administrations for keeping troops in the country — Haley said Trump’s changed his opinion on the matter.
“I think that really shows the signs of a President,” she said. “You know, one thing is to be a candidate, and talk about what you think.”
Haley added that she believed Trump’s speech was “strong.”
“I think the President’s speech was strong,” she said. “I think it was showing that we’re taking an entirely new approach from what’s happened in the past … In the past, it’s always been time based, on when we were going to get out or based on the number of troops or all kinds of things. Now it’s results-based and that works.”
Cuomo asked Haley why Pakistan and Afghanistan were not countries listed on the Trump administration’s travel ban — to which she responded that the countries affected by the ban were based on whether they had “enough background checks.”
Cuomo noted that both countries have harbored terrorists in the past.
“I think the travel ban was based on certain threats, and more importantly, it was based on the fact that if we didn’t have enough information,” she said. “The goal was always, and the goal continues to be for the President, to keep Americans safe, and any country where we don’t have the background checks, we can’t ensure that Americans are going to be safe. That’s how those countries were picked.”
She continued: “In those countries, we have information that we feel like we can obviously monitor, and we can screen and we can make sure exactly who is coming into our country. In those other countries on the travel ban, we don’t have that.”