“With all due respect, I don’t get confused,” Haley said in a statement.
.. The situation was fraught from the beginning, with Haley making an ironclad and unmistakable announcement of new sanctions. And there was no correction for more than 24 hours, even though it was a major story for that whole time.
From the outside, it looked a lot as if the notoriously fickle Trump had simply changed his mind, but the White House tried to play it off as a mix-up and even Haley’s fault. Haley clearly was not having it — especially when Kudlow publicly called her out.
But to be clear, her comment Tuesday is a pretty big repudiation of both Kudlow and what the White House has been saying anonymously.
.. It also means Haley is effectively saying Trump and/or the White House did change their minds — that their increasingly tough posture on Russia has at least momentarily been arrested.
.. The exact reason for that is up for debate. The Kremlin complained about the new sanctions, calling them “international economic raiding.” And in what seems like possibly the tipping point for Trump, The Washington Post reported Sunday night that Trump “has battled his top aides on Russia and lost.” I argued Monday that perhaps Trump just decided to exert his authority, even if it made his administration look unmoored.
Whatever the reasons, though, Haley made clear this was not handled well by the administration, and that it was not her fault. It will be interesting to see what lies ahead for her relationship with the White House — and Kudlow.