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Nikki Haley's Private Plane Flights Raise Ethics Questions
Written by <a href="index.php?option=com_comprofiler&task=userProfile&user=49296"><span class="small">Bristow Marchant, McClatchy DC</span></a>   
Tuesday, 09 October 2018 12:23

Marchant writes: "A Washington, D.C., watchdog group wants a federal investigation into U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley's use of private planes owned by S.C. businessmen."

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley, with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. (photo: Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP/Getty Images)
U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley, with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. (photo: Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP/Getty Images)

Nikki Haley's Private Plane Flights Raise Ethics Questions

By Bristow Marchant, McClatchy DC

09 October 18


Washington, D.C., watchdog group wants a federal investigation into U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley’s use of private planes owned by S.C. businessmen.

The group, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, says Haley undervalued the flights by tens of thousands of dollars on her annual financial disclosure form required of federal officials.

The complaint was filed before Haley announced she was resigning as ambassador on Tuesday. Haley’s resignation is seemingly unrelated to the ethics complaint.

The ethics group says the flights create the impression of impermissible gifts to a public official. However, Haley said on her disclosure the men are all personal friends and, thus, exempt from federal rules about accepting flights on private planes.

“By accepting gifts of luxury private flights, Ambassador Haley seems to be falling in line with other Trump administration officials who are reaping personal benefits from their public positions,” the group’s executive director, Noah Bookbinder, said in a statement calling for the investigation Monday.

Last year, the former S.C. governor and her husband Michael accepted four flights on a private aircraft owned by Jimmy Gibbs, president and chief executive of Gibbs International, the documents show.

The flights took the Haleys from her residence as ambassador in New York to Greenville and Charleston, from South Carolina to Washington, and from Washington back to New York.

Haley’s disclosure values the flights at a total of $1,754, an estimate based on the cost of a commercial flight. The ethics group says the cost of operating a private plane would be closer to $24,000 for all four flights. Even if Gibbs or another passenger also was on the flight, they estimate Haley’s share of the cost still would be more than $10,000.

Records show Haley also accepted flights from Smyth McKissick, the head of Alice Manufacturing Co., and longtime Haley friend Mikee Johnson, president and CEO of Cox Industries. Haley valued the costs of those flights at $704 and $761, respectively. The watchdog group also contends those estimates are too low.

Another complaint from the same group earned Haley a reprimand from federal ethics regulators last year, after she re-tweeted President Donald Trump’s endorsement of now-U.S. Rep. Ralph Norman in a special congressional election. Federal law prohibits political appointees, including Haley, from endorsing candidates for office.

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+12 # MikeAF48 2018-10-09 13:41
It's no wonder Nikki Haley has resigned after Trump being laughed at the UNITED NATIONS conference he is displaying as the biggest joke of the UNITED STATES its no wonder he sends women to talk for him Hell lets get the whole family involved.
0 # Rodion Raskolnikov 2018-10-09 20:38
Oddly, most UN Ambassadors have been women -- Madeleine Albright, Jeanne Kirkpatrick, Samantha Power, Susan Rice, Rosemary DiCarlo. All of them have been evil speakers just like Haley. The men have been just as bad. I think only assholes are sent to the UN by American presidents. I worked at the UN during the time when Jeanne Kirkpatrick was ambassador. People there did laugh about Reagan but they were more puzzled about why Kirkpatrick was just so rude and ignorant about other countries and their histories or political situation.

Albright said it most clearly: "The UN is an instrument of US foreign policy." The US regards the UN and everyone there as tools.
+11 # Rodion Raskolnikov 2018-10-09 14:10
One down. Many more to go. Will John Bolton be next in line. I hope so.
+12 # 1dfnslblty 2018-10-09 17:56
Flight prices are a ruse.
She could have accepted any flight ~ she was only an ambassador not an elected or important official.
Go after her boss for hiring such a shill in potus' ponzi.
Same with the new justice ~ go after his character or lack of lawyering ~ and of course, his cheerleader pouts.
Though, potus is itself a marionette, and the masters are hidden by a curtain.
+3 # Jim Rocket 2018-10-10 09:46
Haley always struck me as someone who is not that intelligent. I don't know enough about her to say but she really does hang with the "right" people.
+1 # lfeuille 2018-10-10 19:10
I don't believe there is a single Trump appointee who's actions don't raise ethics questions.