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Nikki Haley: U.S. doesn't "support Saudi Arabia when it comes to human rights"

Haley on human rights
Nikki Haley: Trump supports me speaking out on human rights 02:37

President Trump said during a visit to Saudi Arabia last month that America would not "lecture" other countries or "tell other people how to live" -- but the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, said during a recent interview with Face the Nation, "We don't support Saudi Arabia when it comes to human rights."

"They know that we don't condone some of the things that they do," she said. "We'll always be vocal about that."

Moderator John Dickerson asked Haley to help viewers understand the "disconnect between talking about human rights and a president who says he's not going to lecture."

Extended interview: U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley, June 4 10:29

"You know, it's interesting. Everyone wants to try and create a divide because I'm speaking out on human rights and humanitarian issues. And the president may not mention it, but we're on the same team," the ambassador said. "And so he's very aware that I'm outspoken on human rights. And he's very aware I'm outspoken on the need for humanitarian assistance. And he's been supportive of that."

"The U.S. is always going to speak out on human rights," she added. "We have to have conversations with our counterparts. We have to have relationships with them. And we want to try and get along with them as much as we can. But when they go against our values, we are going to say something. That's just who we are as a country. That's what we've always been great at."

Dickerson asked whether countries like Saudi Arabia and China might determine from the president's words that "if America needs something from a country, it's not going to talk about human rights so much."

Nikki Haley weighs in on U.S. withdrawal from Paris accord 03:55

"Well, I am going to Geneva this next week And I'm going to the [United Nations] Human Rights Council. And that's one of the things that I'm going to talk about, is the need for the Human Rights Council to actually deal with human rights," Haley replied.

"We've got countries on the Human Rights Council right now like Venezuela and Cuba, and what these actors do is they get on the council so that the finger's never pointed to them," she continued. "As much that has happened with Venezuela...with the deaths that we've had, with the injuries that we've had, with the political prisoners that have been in place, not once has the Human Rights Council called on Venezuela. Well, that's because they sit on the council. And so we do care about human rights. And that's why I'm going to Geneva. That's why I'm going to be talking about it. And that's why I'm going to tell them if the U.S. is going to be a part of the Human Rights Council, then the Human Rights Council has to have credibility."

Dickerson noted that Saudi Arabia also sits on the UNHRC. "A lot of people criticize its beheadings, its lack of freedom in Saudi Arabia. Would you put it in the same category as Venezuela as you just described it – using the Human Rights Council as a whitewash?" he asked.

"We don't support Saudi Arabia when it comes to human rights," the ambassador said. "And they know that we don't condone some of the things that they do. We'll always be vocal about that."

Click here for more of John's interview with U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley.

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