Haley: Congress is ‘lying to the American people’ by tying foreign aid to border security


GOP presidential candidate Nikki Haley alleged Sunday that Congress is “lying to the American people” by tying foreign aid to border security. 

“Congress is failing because they’re making this sound like you have to choose between Ukraine and Israel, or securing the border. They are lying to the American people. That’s a false premise. We can do both,” Haley said during an appearance on ABC’s This Week. “Securing our southern border is priority number one, but making sure that we help Ukraine and Israel is also about preventing war. If we just supported Ukraine and Israel, that’s only 5% of our defense budget. If we supported Ukraine, Israel and secured the border, that’s less than 20% of Biden’s green subsidies. So this is not about the American people having to choose either/or. This is about Joe Biden and Congress understanding that they need to choose national security. They need to choose preventing war, and their job is to keep Americans safe, and they have to communicate that to the American people, and they are not doing that right now.”  

ABC News Chief Washington Correspondent Jonathan Karl pressed Haley on a message to House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., who said he wouldn’t be “rushed” into approving the $95.3 billion foreign aid package from the Senate that could come up for a vote in the lower chamber of Congress. But Haley said it was President Biden who needs to take a better approach. 

“Well first, I think you have to talk about what Joe Biden should be doing,” Haley said. “First of all, the reason you’re seeing America become more isolationist is that at no point has Joe Biden had a conversation with the American people about why Ukraine is important. At no point has he had a conversation with them – with the American people about the terrorist activity that’s happening with Israel and why Iran is so dangerous. At no point is he talking about the threat of China, and when you don’t talk about those things with the American people, they’re going to distance themselves from it. And so, Joe Biden has failed on that front. That has emboldened our enemies.” 


As for former President Donald Trump, Haley contended he “doesn’t worry about Putin invading Ukraine,” so now the Russian president is putting soldiers around the Baltic region. 

“He’s moving in for the next era,” Haley said of Russian President Vladimir Putin. “Let’s remind the American people that Putin said once he takes Ukraine, Poland and the Baltics are next. Now he is putting soldiers around those countries just as he did Ukraine. And if that happens, those are NATO countries, that immediately puts America at war. That is what we’re trying to avoid, and that’s why this aid package is so important. Ukraine’s not asking for troops. They’re just asking for the equipment and ammunition to win this war. They have a great fighting force. We need to give them what they need so that they can win so that we can prevent having to send any of our military men and women to fight.” 


If the $95 billion aid package was put to a vote, Johnson would find overwhelming support in the House from a coalition of Democrats and Republicans. Anchoring the package is $61 billion for Ukraine, mainly in the form of military equipment from the U.S. It also sends foreign assistance and humanitarian aid to Israel, Gaza and allies in the Indo-Pacific region, including Taiwan.

Yet the reported death of Alexei Navalny, the most famous political prisoner in Russia and Putin’s biggest rival, did not appear to move Johnson to commit on Friday. 

“As Congress debates the best path forward to support Ukraine, the United States, and our partners, must be using every means available to cut off Putin’s ability to fund his unprovoked war in Ukraine and aggression against the Baltic states,” Johnson said in a statement.

Haley, Trump’s former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations and former South Carolina governor, will face off against Trump in the Feb. 24 South Carolina primary. 

On Sunday, she also tried to accuse Trump of siding “with a guy who kills his political opponents,” referring to Putin as, “a thug who arrests American journalists and holds them hostage.” 


Karl also asked Haley if she would endorse Trump if he becomes the Republican presidential nominee, but she deflected and stressed that if Trump is the nominee, that would ensure that current Vice President Kamala Harris is elected president in November. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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