Nikki Haley on Trump accusers: Women who accuse anyone "should be heard" and "dealt with"

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said Sunday, in light of a growing number of probes into sexual misconduct against lawmakers, that "the time has come" to start bringing "a conscience" to the situation surrounding the treatment of women in the workplace as well as on Capitol Hill. 

When asked what she thinks of the "cultural shift" taking place in the U.S., Haley said she is "incredibly proud of the women who have come forward."

"I'm proud of their strength. I'm proud of their courage," Haley said on CBS News' "Face the Nation."

Haley's comments came after three lawmakers in one week, including Sen. Al Franken, D-Minnesota, Rep. John Conyers, D-Michigan and Rep. Trent Franks, R-Arizona, announced they would step down from office following allegations of sexual misconduct and harassment.

When asked to assess similar allegations of misconduct leveled against President Trump during the 2016 campaign, Haley replied, "Women who accuse anyone should be heard. They should be heard and they should be dealt with." 

"I think we heard from them prior to the election. And I think any woman who has felt violated or felt mistreated in any way, they have every right to speak up," she added.

Meanwhile, Haley applauded the president's move in announcing the U.S. recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel -- a controversial move that has ignited protests in the Middle East. 

She told CBS News' John Dickerson that Mr. Trump's announcement on Wednesday was "the right thing to do."

"It is absolutely the right thing to do. And look, for the last 22 years, everyone around every president has said, 'Just wait, just wait, just wait.' And President Trump's not going to wait anymore," said Haley, calling the president's decision a "courageous" one.

When asked if Mr. Trump's move to recognize Jerusalem as the capital and begin the early stages of moving the U.S. embassy in Israel to the city would further inflame tensions and disrupt work on the peace process, Haley said, "I think that when you recognize the truth, when both parties recognize reality, peace comes."

"If you notice when the president spoke, he made it very clear. He didn't talk about boundaries. He didn't talk about borders. He didn't get into any of that because the final status of Jerusalem is between the Palestinians and the Israelis. It's not for the Americans to decide."

She added, "The sky is not falling. If anything, what we're going to see is both sides are going to come to the table. They're going to decide what they think Jerusalem should look like. And we're going to support that process."

While the latest move by the administration may impact the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, as Vice President Mike Pence prepares to visit the Middle East, Haley maintains that "both sides" will come to table and "decide what they think Jerusalem should look like."

"What he did was take it off the table. Jerusalem is the capital of Israel. Take that off the table. Tell both sides to come together and say, 'Okay, you decide how you want to split up Jerusalem. You decide if you're going to create boundaries or borders there.' And let them decide," said Haley. 

To critics of the president's plan, Haley says the decision "will go down in history to show he made the move that finally got the two parties to come to the table."

  • Emily Tillett

    Emily Tillett is a politics reporter and video editor for CBS News Digital