CNN anchor Jake Tapper took to social media to defend U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley after she wished him a Merry Christmas. A prominent Twitter account implied that Haley's holiday greeting was anti-Semitic, which Tapper dismissed (video below).
On Dec. 10, Tapper interviewed Haley about President Donald Trump's decision to relocate the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem and declare the city as Israel's capital. Tapper, who is Jewish, queried Haley on the strategy behind the embassy move.
"Isn't this just cashing in a chip and getting nothing for it? ... all the president has done is remove something from the table that could have been used to force the Israelis to concede something or force the Palestinians to concede something," Tapper said, according to CNN.
"It will move the peace process forward and I'll come back and tell you I told you so," Haley responded.
Tapper and Haley ended their interview by exchanging holiday pleasantries.
"Madam Ambassador, thank you so much," Tapper told Haley. "If I don't see you, Merry Christmas, Happy New Year."
"Merry Christmas Jake," Haley said.
#TheResistance, a social media account that is critical of the Trump administration, shared the exchange on Twitter and appeared to imply that Haley was being insensitive to Tapper's Jewish faith.
"Trump UN Ambassador Nikki Haley Wishes Jewish Host Jake Tapper A 'Merry Christmas,'" #TheResistance tweeted, quoting a headline from the website Crooks and Liars.
Tapper responded to the tweet by asserting he was not offended by Haley's greeting.
"The opposite," Tapper tweeted out. "Her intent was to spread cheer and kindness. And that's how it took it."
The Reagan Battalion, a conservative outlet, criticized #TheResistance for implying Haley was being anti-Semitic.
"This is a very stupid attack, [Tapper] wished her A Merry Christmas & she wished back the same," The Reagan Battalion tweeted. "We're 100 percent sure that [Tapper] took no offense."
Tapper agreed with that assessment.
"This is correct; I not only didn't take offense, I took [Haley's] 'Merry Christmas' in the spirit it was intended, spreading cheer and good wishes, as I intended it to her," Tapper tweeted.
The CNN host added: "I SAID MERRY CHRISTMAS TO HER FIRST."
Following Tapper's interview with Haley, the host spoke with Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff of California, who is also Jewish. When that interview concluded, Tapper told Schiff, "Happy Hanukkah and Happy New Year's as well."
"Same to you, sir," Schiff replied.
Following Tapper's defense of Haley, the ambassador took to social media with a different holiday greeting.
"Happy Hanukkah [Tapper]," Haley tweeted. "I hope you have a great holiday season!"
"And Merry Christmas to you and yours, Ambassador Haley!" Tapper responded. "Best wishes to the Haleys for 2018!"
Sources: CNN/YouTube (2), Crooks and Liars, Jake Tapper/Twitter (2, 3), Nikki Haley/Twitter, The Reagan Battalion/Twitter, #TheResistance/Twitter / Featured Image: South Carolina Gov. Nikki R. Haley/Flickr / Embedded Images: United States Mission Geneva/Flickr, CNN via YouTube