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US President Donald Trump and US envoy to the UN Nikki Haley © Carlos Barria / Reuters
US President Donald Trump left the UN Security Council session he was chairing before it was over, leaving Nikki Haley in charge and sparking speculation about his whereabouts among the press.
Around quarter after noon on Wednesday, after roughly two hours of speeches and declarations, Trump left the Security Council chambers with his security detail, letting his UN envoy Haley take over.
The US president’s departure took place during the speech by Ethiopia’s foreign minister, and after the address of Russian FM Sergey Lavrov. Some members of the press speculated he might have taken a toilet break and would return.
Interesting moment at #UNGA2018: Nikki Haley is now seated in the president’s seat during the security council briefing and even called on the next country to speak, Kazakhstan. Where did Trump go?
He is supposed to be chairing the meeting.
— Nancy Cook (@nancook) September 26, 2018
Trump has left the UNSC chamber, along with his security detail, but not his delegation. Unclear whether he is just going to the toilet and will return to wrap up.
— Julian Borger (@julianborger) September 26, 2018
As Ethiopia gave way to Kazakhstan, however, Trump’s return to the Security Council grew more unlikely by the minute.
Annnnd Trump makes it through 14/15, Haley takes over the gavel as Trump exits ahead of Kazakhstan’s speech. Unclear if he’s coming back for the wrap-up.
— Hayes Brown (@HayesBrown) September 26, 2018
Had he stayed, Trump would have heard Kazakhstan’s Foreign Minister Kairat Abdrakhmanov praise him for meeting North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Singapore earlier this year.
FM Abdrakhmanov of Kazakhstan praises the “personal efforts of President Trump” for the Singapore summit #UNSC
— Nicole Grajewski (@NicoleGrajewski) September 26, 2018
Kazakhstan was followed by Sweden, still sans Trump. Haley eventually adjourned the session in her boss’s absence.
There was speculation that Trump might storm out of the UNSC an hour before he actually left, during the speech by Bolivian President Evo Morales.
“In no way is the United States interested in upholding democracy,” Morales said at the end of his remarks. “The United States could not care less about human rights or justice.”
President of Bolivia at the UNSC meeting just now: “In no way is the United States interested in upholding democracy. … The United States could not care less about human rights or justice.”
Trump responds: “Thank you, Mr. President.”
— Haley Britzky (@halbritz) September 26, 2018
“Thank you Mr. President,” Trump replied, either being polite or having ignored the translation all along.
Trump saying ‘thank you Mr. President’ at the end Morales speech was really funny. I don’t think he was listening to the translation or he’d have walked out
— mosavi (@kaymosavi) September 26, 2018