NEW YORK -- U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley was ticking through a list of the major topics at the United Nations General Assembly here this week when she got to the one "everyone had to talk about" -- Burma.
All of the foreign diplomats "had an opinion" about the rampant ethnic violence crisis in the Southeast Asian nation of 53 million, she told reporters Thursday.
But there seemed to be one glaring omission -- her boss, President Trump.
In his 4,600-word address at the U.N. on Tuesday, Trump made no mention of the crisis that has sent more than 400,000 Rohingya Muslims fleeing military violence into neighboring Bangladesh. The president has not made any public remarks on the conflagration, even as international condemnation mounts on the Burmese government, including its de facto leader, Aung San Suu Kyi.
Trump appears not to have spoken to Suu Kyi since he took office -- a sharp contrast from former president Barack Obama, who made two presidential visits to her home in Rangoon during his tenure.
Asked why Trump did not mention the issue, Haley professed that Trump is "very concerned about Burma" and has spoken with his national security team about how the administration can take action. Trump, she said, asked Vice President Pence to discuss Burma during his U.N. speech.
Trump has been "very involved in the decision-making," Haley said. "I think that he, like every other leader, can tell you we're all scratching our heads over Burma, because all this has happened in three weeks."
During his address, Pence called the situation a "great tragedy" that amounted to a "heart-breaking assault on human rights." He called on the U.N. “to take strong and swift action to bring this crisis to an end — and give hope and help to the Rohingya people in their hour of need.”
U.N. officials have characterized the violence committed by the Burmese military on the Rohingya as an act of "ethnic cleansing." The nation's majority Buddhist population has long opposed allowing the Muslim minority full citizenship in the country.
Haley declined to say whether she had input into Trump's speech at the U.N. or whether she pressed him to discuss the Burma crisis. She said the abuse in that country "is something that a lot of us can't stomach."
The White House issued a statement denouncing the violence last week after fielding questions from reporters. But the president and his team have refrained from publicly criticizing Suu Kyi, whose National League of Democracy took power in 2015 after decades of military rule.
Suu Kyi, who skipped the U.N. meetings this week, has bristled at the international criticism and suggested the reports of refugees fleeing the country and scores of deserted, burned-out villages in the western part of the country amount to "fake news."
A bipartisan group in Congress issued a resolution calling on her to take stronger action to stop the violence and live up to the Nobel Peace Prize she was awarded in 1991. The Obama administration, including former secretary of state Hillary Clinton, strongly supported Burma's transition to democratic rule and backed Suu Kyi's rise to power.
Haley said Secretary of State Rex Tillerson spoke with Suu Kyi and Gen. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, is calling the head of the Burmese military.
Dunford's message, she said, will be: "Look, we've had a relationship with you but this cannot continue, and we need to know what you're going to do about it."