Politics & Policy

Nikki Haley Distances from Trump after Capitol Riot, Says GOP ‘Shouldn’t Have Followed Him’

Nikki Haley in the Oval Office with President Trump, October 9, 2018 (Reuters/Jonathan Ernst)

Former South Carolina governor Nikki Haley distanced herself from former President Trump in comments to Politico on January 12, less than a week after pro-Trump rioters breached the Capitol and forced lawmakers to evacuate.

Haley, who served as ambassador to the U.N. during the Trump administration, is reportedly eyeing a potential run for the presidency in 2024, and has already launched a PAC to support Republicans in the 2022 midterms.

In the January 12 interview, which was published on Friday, the former governor expressed disappointment with Trump and especially his treatment of vice president Mike Pence.

Trump excoriated Pence in a speech to supporters before the mob breached the Capitol. Footage from the incident revealed on Wednesday showed pro-Trump rioters shouting “Hang Mike Pence!” while making their way through the building.

“When I tell you I’m angry, it’s an understatement,” Haley told Politico. “Mike has been nothing but loyal to that man….I am so disappointed in the fact that [despite] the loyalty and friendship he had with Mike Pence, that he would do that to him. Like, I’m disgusted by it.”

Haley said at the time that she believed Trump would “find himself further and further isolated,” and unable to run for president again.

“I think he’s lost any sort of political viability he was going to have,” Haley said. I think he’s lost his social media, which meant the world to him. I mean, I think he’s lost the things that really could have kept him moving.”

The former governor added, “We need to acknowledge [Trump] let us down….He went down a path he shouldn’t have, and we shouldn’t have followed him.”

However, Haley was dismissive of a push to impeach Trump, saying the initiative was “a waste of time.” Haley echoed those comments in a subsequent January 25 interview with Laura Ingraham on Fox News.

“I don’t even think there’s a basis for impeachment,” Haley said. “I mean at some point, I mean give the man a break. I mean move on.”

Send a tip to the news team at NR.

Zachary Evans is a news writer for National Review Online. He is a veteran of the Israeli Defense Forces and a trained violist.


The Latest