New York: The US State Department spent about $52,701 last year on customised and mechanised curtains for the official residence of US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley at a time when the department was undergoing deep budget cuts and had frozen hiring, said the media.
The NYT report said Haley is the first US ambassador to live in the residence, located in a new building just blocks away from the UN headquarters here.
A spokesman for Haley said plans to buy the curtains were made in 2016, during the Obama administration and Haley had no say in the purchase. The curtains themselves cost $29,900, while the motors and hardware needed to open and close them automatically cost $22,801, it said, citing contracts.
Installation took place from March to August last year, during Haley’s tenure as ambassador. Haley, 46, is the highest ranking Indian-American in the Trump administration.
The report said Haley’s curtains are more expensive than the $31,000 dining room set purchased for the office of Ben Carson, the secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Following the controversial $31,000 purchase, Trump had even considered firing Carson.