White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said this afternoon Team USA expects to participate in the Olympic Winter Games in South Korea in February, after questions arose about security.
‘The US looks forward to participating in the Winter Olympics in South Korea,’ Sanders wrote in a tweet. ‘The protection of Americans is our top priority and we are engaged with the South Koreans and other partner nations to secure the venues.’
United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley had cast doubt over whether athletes representing the country would participate in the Olympics, telling Fox News on Wednesday that the United States is concerned about its citizens in the area, in close proximity to North Korea.
Team USA is in…maybe: White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said this afternoon Team USA expects to participate in the Olympic Winter Games in South Korea
She made the announcement about the participation in a tweet sent on Thursday
During her daily press briefing, however, Huckabee Sanders White House spokeswoman said ‘no official decision has been made’ about participation and President Trump would ‘certianly weigh in’
‘I think those are conversations we are going to have to have, but what have we always said? We don’t fear anything, we live our lives,’ Haley said.
‘And certainly [the games] is a perfect opportunity for all of [the athletes] to go and do something they have worked so hard for.’
When asked Thursday at the regular White House press briefing, Huckabee Sanders said ‘no official decision has been made’ about participation and the decision would come closer to the games’ start date, February 9.
She also said the decision would be reached through a process involving multiple agencies, where President Donald Trump would ‘certainly weigh in.’
The US Olympic Committee still plans on bringing teams to the Pyeongchang Games in February, despite heightened tensions on the Korean peninsula.
USOC spokesman Mark Jones released a statement Thursday in response to Ambassador Haley’s commentds, saying the committee had not had any discussions, either internally or with government officials about the possibility of not taking teams to the 2018 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.
‘We plan on supporting two full delegations in Pyeongchang,’ he stated.
She raised doubts over South Korea’s ability to keep US athletes safe amid heightened regional tensions (pictured, Haley shakes hands with South Korean ambassador Cho Tae-yul)