State Department Spent $52,000 on Motorized Curtains for Nikki Haley's Apartment

Nikki Haley in a file photo from March 2018
Nikki Haley in a file photo from March 2018
Photo: Getty Images

The U.S. State Department’s budget has been slashed drastically under President Trump. But that hasn’t stopped some high-level people in government from living the high life. According to a new report, the State Department spent a whopping $52,701 on curtains for Nikki Haley’s Manhattan apartment last year.


Why are these curtains so expensive? The New York Times reports that the curtains themselves are just shy of $30,000, still an obscene price by any standard. But an additional $22,800 was spent on the motors that allow the curtains to open and close:

The curtains themselves cost $29,900, while the motors and hardware needed to open and close them automatically cost $22,801, according to the contracts. Installation took place from March to August of last year, during Ms. Haley’s tenure as ambassador.

The 6,000 square foot apartment on First Avenue is leased by the State Department for Nikki Haley, the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, and costs roughly $58,000 per month. The apartment is used as both Haley’s residence and for entertaining.

Haley’s office reportedly defended the purchase by saying that the plans for the curtains were made during the Obama administration, but the curtains weren’t ordered until the Trump regime took power.

Some members of the Trump administration have gotten in hot water for their extravagant spending, including Ben Carson’s infamous $31,000 dining table. But one of the biggest scandals of this era is that President Trump himself is directly profiting from the presidency. At least $16.1 million has been spent by government and campaign agencies at businesses managed by the Trump Organization since late 2015. And that’s just the money we know about.

I guess it’s a blessing that Trump doesn’t sell MAGA curtains. Yet, anyway.

[New York Times]

Update, 2:40pm: The New York Times just made an editor’s note to its original story and removed Nikki Haley’s photo. But the basic facts remain the same and the Times appears to have changed its tone but not the substance of the story. The “plan” to buy the curtains was made by the State Department during the Obama administration but they weren’t actually purchased until Trump took power.


In any other era, this would be a fairly non-controversial story about government spending. But because it’s about the Trump regime, they’re sensitive to appearing like crooks. As they should be.

Matt Novak is the editor of Gizmodo's Paleofuture blog


From the article:

“A spokesman for Ms. Haley said plans to buy the curtains were made in 2016, during the Obama administration. Ms. Haley had no say in the purchase, he said.” 

Seeing she was sworn into office in late November 2016 and she had no say in the purchase, I’m really not quite sure why I should be outraged about this.