Politics & Government

Did Haley tweet violate federal ethics rules?

U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley pauses while testifying on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, June 27, 2017, before the House State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs subcommittee budget hearing on the United Nations and International Organizations.
U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley pauses while testifying on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, June 27, 2017, before the House State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs subcommittee budget hearing on the United Nations and International Organizations. AP

U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley is under fire for re-tweeting President Donald Trump’s endorsement of the Republican candidate in a S.C. congressional race.

The ethics watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington have asked federal authorities to look into whether Haley’s Twitter activity violated rules prohibiting executive branch officials from interfering in an election.

The complaint comes after Haley retweeted Trump’s message that voters in South Carolina’s 5th District should elect GOP candidate Ralph Norman to Congress in a June 20 special election.

Haley later deleted the tweet.

As South Carolina’s governor from 2010 until she was appointed to the United Nations post by Trump this year, Haley frequently endorsed candidates in Palmetto State elections. She also donated $100 to Norman’s congressional campaign. Norman, ultimately, won election to the U.S. House.

However, federal law prohibits non-partisan officials, including ambassadors, from being involved in elections, watchdogs argue.

“As the recent former governor of South Carolina, Ambassador Haley may care deeply about her party's electoral performance in the state, but the rules separating politics from official government work still apply,” said CREW executive director Noah Bookbinder.

The group says Haley should be disciplined. A Haley spokeswoman didn’t immediately return a message.

The Associated Press contributed; Bristow Marchant: 803-771-8405, @BristowatHome, @BuzzAtTheState

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