President Donald Trump made a joke about United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley that, despite being playful in nature, sends a very troubling message.
During a White House lunch on Monday with over a dozen U.N. ambassadors in attendance, Trump asked the group, “Does everybody like Nikki?” and amid the subtle roar of laughter he stated, “Otherwise, she can easily be replaced.”
The entire room, including Haley, laughed at this lighthearted dig. However, there appeared to be some underlying shade that Trump has been directing at quite a few of his employees lately.
In front of the UN Security Council, President Donald Trump jokingly says... Ambassador Nikki Haley "can easily be replaced." pic.twitter.com/Gwi8CifDZ6— Nigel Robertson (@thetopstoryWYFF) April 24, 2017
Thus far, Trump’s strategy for keeping his administration alert has been to make it seem like they are completely expendable and their jobs could be here today and gone tomorrow.
Another example of this is his comments about press secretary Sean Spicer during a luncheon last month.
Reports surfaced on Monday that one of the lunch guests inquired about whether Spicer — who has been criticized for doing his job poorly — would be getting the boot. The president reportedly replied, “I’m not firing Sean Spicer. That guy gets great ratings. Everyone tunes in.”
Similar to his remarks about Haley, Trump used a jovial quip to belittle Spicer’s actual value to his administration.
The affinity Trump has for doing this speaks to his narcissistic nature, which makes it difficult for him to allow anyone — including members of his own team — to receive more attention than him.
In Haley’s case, she’s one of the very few in Trump’s administration who hasn’t been riddled with drama, and she was recently heavily praised for a U.N. speech she delivered after Syrian President Bashar al-Assad gassed civilians, CNN reports.
Additionally, Trump probably wants to keep Haley “in her place,” so to speak, considering that prior to her appointment to his cabinet, Haley was a fervid critic of Trump’s antics along the campaign trail, and she even originally endorsed Marco Rubio for president.
While she and the president may have put their rocky past behind them to maintain a cordial working relationship, it isn’t likely that Trump has forgotten, and he probably revels in the opportunities he gets to take digs at her.
Ultimately, these behaviors confirm Trump’s infatuation with himself and his dismissive attitude toward everyone else, which is anything but presidential.