Going into Friday’s big GOP presidential forum in Iowa, the big buzz around Nikki Haley as a candidate was that she had experience not only at the gubernatorial level, but also at the foreign policy level — something only one other contender there, former Vice President Mike Pence, could boast of. Former President Donald Trump, who made Haley the United States’ ambassador to the United Nations, was absent from the event — and he’s the only other one that has dealt directly with foreign powers.
So, when event moderator Tucker Carlson asked her who blew up the Nord Stream pipeline, one might expect she would have a straight answer for him, being one of the few in the race touted as a foreign policy expert.
Saying “I don’t know” and then asking Carlson his own question might not, therefore, be the best augury for her campaign there is.
A bit of background for those who haven’t been following: While Carlson is among the most skeptical voices on the right regarding NATO involvement in the Russia-Ukraine conflict, TheBlaze’s Glenn Beck noted in commentary before the one-on-one that Haley has been among “the most hawkish” of the candidates, with Steve Deace, also of TheBlaze (who helped put on the event) noting that “she’s actually out there saying admit Ukraine to NATO.”
Thus, the difference of opinions on the matter came up after Haley discussed the importance of American energy independence and the fact President Joe Biden’s administration is “going hat in hand to Saudi Arabia and getting dirty oil from Iran and Venezuela.”
“I saw at the United Nations there were two things our enemies never wanted us to have: They never wanted us to be energy-independent and they never wanted us to have a strong military.”
“Well, speaking of energy and the military,” Carlson transitioned, “Who blew up the Nord Stream pipeline?”
Now, as you may know, in September of 2022, the Nord Stream pipelines, which brought natural gas energy from Russia to Western Europe, were sabotaged by a series of undersea explosions.
Initially, suspicion was cast upon Russia, something media on both the right and left lapped up. Carlson, then still at Fox News, was one of the few voices who said it didn’t add up — and it turns out that was likely the case. In March, The New York Times cited U.S. officials who said new intelligence “suggests that a pro-Ukrainian group carried out the attack on the Nord Stream pipelines last year, a step toward determining responsibility for an act of sabotage that has confounded investigators on both sides of the Atlantic for months.”
Haley at least pretended to be confounded, too: “Well, I don’t know,” she said, shrugging. “Do you?”
“I’m not claiming you did,” Carlson said, laughing. “I don’t know, I don’t know.”
“That’s what I’m saying, do you know who did it?” Haley asked.
Tucker then answered his own question by noting it “seems pretty obvious it was backed by the Biden administration, I would say. I think all the evidence suggests that, but I wasn’t there. But, I mean, that seems like a huge step — this is the largest industrial sabotage in history, sent more carbon in the atmosphere than any act ever, and there’s like, weirdly no curiosity about who did it, and I think that’s strange.”
Haley then used that to (depending on your view of the matter) deflect or jiu-jitsu Carlson’s remark by noting that “there’s a lot of things that are strange with the Biden administration, this isn’t their first one.”
Carlson then responded that “I guess what I’m really saying is, if you were running against the Biden administration, to do something like that and shaft our closest allies in the world, which would be Western Europe, and deprive them of the energy they need to run their manufacturing sector and destroy their economy, which it is in the process of doing, that’s a major sin to have done something like that. You just betrayed our allies, and no one on the right is accusing the [Biden administration] of what they clearly did.”
Haley again used that to (again, depending on your view of the matter) deflect or jiu-jitsu by noting that the administration isn’t “being accountable on anything,” using the cocaine recently found at the White House as an example.