United States Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley speaks during a U.N. Security Council meeting requested by the United Kingdom for an update on the investigation into the poisoning of a former Russian spy and his daughter on April 18 in New York City.
That was the case this week when the White House walked back her announcement on April 15 of forthcoming sanctions against Russian Federation, with aide Larry Kudlow telling media there may have been "momentary confusion" over the matter.
Earlier this month, the Trump Administration issued fresh sanctions against almost 40 top Russian business leaders, officials and companies for their destabilizing activities.
Haley wasn't the only official who walked away from Friday's meeting believing the sanctions against Russian entities would be announced in the coming days, as part of the broader U.S. message about chemical weapons attacks following US-led airstrikes in Syria, administration officials said. And it reinforces the potential downside of high-stakes negotiations involving a White House and a president who often appears to struggle to execute a coherent and deliberate strategy.
At an early evening news conference Wednesday, Trump was questioned about the scrubbed sanctions. A day earlier, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders responded to reports about Haley's comments by saying the administration was "considering additional sanctions on Russian Federation", but that a decision hadn't yet been made.
But the potential downside of a face-to-face involving the president of the United States - especially one as unpredictable and unversed in diplomacy as Trump - is also very real.
"With the media, no matter what I did, it's never tough enough, because that's the narrative", Trump said. But the voting public has lost its appetite for this bloody dish, and so Hillary Clinton - the Democrats' Nikki Haley - lost to Donald Trump, as did the dozen or so heirs of Bush in the GOP primaries. The source familiar said the issue wasn't that penalties were "not ready", but that Trump simply didn't want them to go forward now. "Additional sanctions are under consideration, but not implemented". "She got ahead of the curve", said Larry Kudlow, the perpetually wrong TV pundit the president recently tapped to serve as his economics adviser.
However, Haley hit back with a terse statement: "With all due respect, I don't get confused".
President Donald Trump hasn't approved any additional punitive moves against Russian Federation and his aides haven't formally recommended any, said the people, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
The White House had been struggling to explain Haley's remarks amid reports that President Donald Trump put the brakes on the new sanctions.
Deep divisions over United States foreign policy, usually debated in private, are spilling dramatically into public view as Donald Trump's top advisers struggle to make sense of his rapidly changing views on Syria and Russian Federation. The source familiar said Trump was irritated by the fact that the U.S. expelled 60, which was far more than France and Germany.
"Additional sanctions are under discussion but haven't been determined", Kudlow said Tuesday.
Financial markets and America's trading partners largely ignored the comments as a throwaway line, and the market wisdom proved to be correct when Trump tweeted that he did not "like the deal for the U.S", deflating the TPP trial balloon before it left the ground. Trump said afterward that the two leaders would likely meet soon. Trump has expressed a belief that talking directly to Putin could clear up small differences and might lead to more substantive talks.
"And then the other night, we had a strike in Syria which was absolute precision", Trump noted during his tirade about the "tough" approach to Moscow.