US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley says a rumor sparked by "Fire and Fury" author Michael Wolff is "disgusting" and illustrates the kinds of accusations women in the workplace face.
"It is absolutely not true," Haley told Politico's podcast "Women Rule," which aired Thursday. She was referring to a rumor that she has carried on an affair with President Donald Trump, which has not been verified by CNN.
Haley argued that the rumor speaks to a larger issue that women in power face in the workplace.
"But it goes to a bigger issue that we need to always be conscious of. At every point in my life, I've noticed that if you speak your mind and you're strong about it and you say what you believe, there is a small percentage of people that resent that," Haley said. "And the way they deal with it is to try and throw arrows -- lies or not -- to diminish you."
Haley, who was South Carolina's first female governor before taking a role in the administration, said she has had to weather similar attacks and salacious rumors throughout her career in politics.
"This isn't something that's just happened as a Cabinet member: I saw this as a legislator, I saw this when I was governor, I see it now, I see them do it to other women," Haley said.
Haley said that the attacks don't deter her from doing her work.
"Do I like it? No. Is it right? No. Is it going to slow me down? Not at all," Haley said. "Any time this has happened, it only makes me fight harder, it only makes me work harder. And I do it for the sake of other women that are behind me."
The rumor she now faces is being fueled by Wolff, who teased in an interview with Bill Maher last week that his book contained a clue as to someone with whom Trump was having an affair. Wolff said he was "absolutely sure" the claim was true but it is "so incendiary that I just didn't have the ultimate proof."
A line in the book that says Trump has been spending "a notable amount of private time with Haley" on Air Force One led readers to speculate online it was her.
Haley, however, told Politico she has only been on Air Force One "once and there were several people in the room when I was there."
She added, "I've never talked once to the President about my future and I am never alone with him."
Trump has slammed "Fire and Fury" as "phony" and the White House called it a "book full of lies."
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