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Haley’s UN Brinkmanship Comes With Advice by Long-Time Pollster

  • Jon Lerner helped get Haley elected South Carolina governor
  • UN envoy wants to ratchet up sanctions on North Korea’s regime
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U.S. Wants Vote on Harsher N. Korea Sanctions

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As Nikki Haley confronts her biggest test so far as U.S. envoy to the UN -- persuading the Security Council to further tighten sanctions on North Korea -- she’s leaning on a key adviser with little foreign policy experience: her South Carolina pollster.

Jon Lerner, a political strategist who helped get Haley elected twice as the Palmetto State’s governor, is the ambassador’s Washington-based deputy. While Haley has talked about the direct access she has to President Donald Trump, the 49-year-old Lerner serves as her eyes and ears on the ground in the nation’s capital: a critical role as Haley’s profile rises in an administration buffeted by leaks and turmoil.