Tim Scott attacked Nikki Haley over expensive curtains. There’s more to the story

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Among the numerous heated arguments that transpired between Republican presidential candidates on the debate stage, former UN ambassador Nikki Haley and South Carolina senator Tim Scott got into a particularly frivolous argument over expensive curtains.

While addressing government spending, Mr Scott claimed Ms Haley was “someone who has never seen a federal dollar she doesn’t like”, opening the door for the two to verbally spar.

With a coy smile, Ms Haley welcomed Mr Scott’s accusations, saying: “Bring it, Tim.”

“As the UN ambassador, you literally put $50,000 on curtains at a $15 million dollar subsidised location,” Mr Scott said – a reference to a 2018 New York Times story that revealed custom curtains installed in the apartment Ms Haley received as the US ambassador to the UN cost a whopping $52,701.

The accusation appeared shocking and painted Ms Haley, the former South Carolina governor, as a hypocrite since moments earlier, she used her speaking time to criticise federal employees for overspending.

But Mr Scott’s accusation was not totally accurate.

“You’ve got bad information,” Ms Haley replied.

Yes, the bougie curtains in Ms Haley’s former residence were expensive, but Ms Haley was not the one who signed off on the decision.

The curtains were initially decided on and purchased during the Obama administration before Ms Haley was appointed ambassador – something the NY Times issued a correction over after they misled readers to assume Ms Haley was the one who signed off on the transaction.

But Mr Scott seemed fixated on blaming the lavish curtains on Ms Haley, who appointed Mr Scott to his senate seat in 2017, asking GOP debate viewers to “go watch Nikki Haley on YouTube.”

“Do your homework, Tim, because Obama bought those curtains,” Ms Haley shouted.

“Did you send them back?” Mr Scott asked Ms Haley.

Growing increasingly frustrated, Ms Haley said: “It’s the State Department. Did you send them back? You’re the one that works in Congress. You get it done!”

Ms Haley insisted that the curtains were there before she showed up – though the Times story claims the curtains were installed between March and August of 2017, when Ms Haley first began her position as UN ambassador.

“You are scrapping,” Ms Haley said to Mr Scott. “You are scrapping right now.”

Curtain-gate went on for about a minute and 15 seconds before moderators took control of the stage to ask candidates to move forward.