State Division Spent $52,701 on Curtains for Nikki Haley’s Residence

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WASHINGTON — The State Division spent $52,701 final 12 months shopping for personalized and mechanized curtains for the image home windows in Nikki R. Haley’s official residence as ambassador to the United Nations, simply because the division was present process deep finances cuts and had frozen hiring.

The residence, in a brand new constructing on First Avenue, has spectacular views, and Ms. Haley is the primary ambassador to reside in it. For many years, her predecessors lived within the Waldorf Astoria resort. However after the resort was bought by a Chinese language insurance coverage firm with a murky possession construction, the State Division determined in 2016 to discover a new house for its prime New York diplomat due to safety considerations.

The federal government leased the house, simply blocks from the delegation’s places of work, with an possibility to purchase, in line with Patrick Kennedy, the highest administration official on the State Division in the course of the Obama administration. The total-floor penthouse, with good-looking hardwood flooring protecting giant open areas stretching practically 6,000 sq. toes, was listed at $58,000 a month.

A spokesman for Ms. Haley mentioned plans to purchase the curtains had been made in 2016, in the course of the Obama administration. Ms. Haley had no say within the buy, he mentioned.

Whereas ambassadors around the globe are given residences, there are solely two such residences in america — one for Ms. Haley and the opposite for her deputy.

Ms. Haley’s residence is especially grand since it’s used for official entertaining. However her deputy’s can also be very good, having served as the placement for Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s intimate steak dinner in Might with Kim Yong-chol, North Korea’s prime nuclear weapons negotiator. Through the dinner, Mr. Pompeo used its sweeping views to level out numerous options of New York Metropolis’s skyline to the senior official from the world’s most reclusive nation.

The curtains themselves value $29,900, whereas the motors and {hardware} wanted to open and shut them mechanically value $22,801, in line with the contracts. Set up passed off from March to August of final 12 months, throughout Ms. Haley’s tenure as ambassador.

Ms. Haley’s curtains are dearer than the $31,000 eating room set bought for the workplace of Ben Carson, the secretary of the Division of Housing and City Growth. That buy grew to become so controversial that President Trump thought-about firing Mr. Carson, although the spending guidelines protecting company chiefs are completely different from these for ambassadors.

Whereas Ms. Haley’s curtains had been being ordered and put in, Rex W. Tillerson, the administration’s first secretary of state, had frozen hiring, pushed out lots of the division’s most senior diplomats and proposed slicing the division’s finances by 31 %. In embassies around the globe, tasks had been eradicated, jobs had been left unfilled and the delegation to final 12 months’s United Nations Basic Meeting assembly was slashed.

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