Haley: 'Russia Is Responsible for the Attack'
UN ambassador comes to defense of Great Britain after nerve agent attack
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 14, 2018 6:18 PM CDT
US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley speaks during a Security Council meeting on the situation between Britain and Russia, Wednesday, March 14, 2018 at United Nations headquarters.   (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

(Newser) – Nikki Haley came out strong against Russia and in support of the United Kingdom on Wednesday following the nerve agent attack that left a former Russian spy and his adult daughter in critical condition in England, CNN reports. "The United States believes that Russia is responsible for the attack," the US ambassador to the UN told the Security Council, adding the White House "stands in absolute solidarity with Great Britain." "Time and time again, member states say they oppose the use of chemical weapons under any circumstance," Haley said. "Now one member stands accused of using chemical weapons on the sovereign soil of another member. The credibility of this council will not survive if we fail to hold Russia accountable."

It was by far the most forceful statement out of the Trump administration. Rex Tillerson had said Russia was "clearly" responsible for the attack on Sergei Skripal and daughter Yulia but was shortly fired by Trump, NBC News reports. When asked about Tillerson's firing Tuesday, Trump said "as soon as we get the facts straight" the US would "condemn Russia or whoever it may be." According to Business Insider, former US diplomats have expressed confusion about why the White House hasn't done more to back its ally Great Britain, which has expelled 23 Russian diplomats. Nicholas Burns calls it "judgment day" for Trump. "Will he support Britain unequivocally on the nerve agent attack?" the former US ambassador to NATO says. "Back NATO sanctions? Finally criticize Putin? Act like a leader of the West?"

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