Gustaf KilanderThu, 18 February 2021, 10:38 pm
Former South Carolina governor and UN Ambassador in the Trump Administration Nikki Haley wrote an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal blasting the media for dividing the country to smooth things over after former president Trump rebuffed her on a request for a meeting.
Ms Haley initially declined to reprimand Mr Trump over his lies about having won the election, telling Politico in December: “I understand the president. I understand that genuinely, to his core, he believes he was wronged. This is not him making it up.”
But after the insurrection at the Capitol on 6 January, Ms Haley finally criticised Mr Trump. On 12 January, she told Politico: “I think he’s going to find himself further and further isolated. I think his business is suffering at this point. I think he’s lost any sort of political viability he was going to have. 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. I don’t think he’s going to be in the picture. I don’t think he can. He’s fallen so far.”
She added: “We need to acknowledge he let us down. He went down a path he shouldn’t have, and we shouldn’t have followed him, and we shouldn’t have listened to him. And we can’t let that ever happen again.”
Mr Trump’s treatment of his then-vice president Mike Pence infuriated Ms Haley. She watched Mr Trump’s speech at the ellipse just before the riot on TV. She said: “And then I hear the president get up there and go off on Pence. I literally was so triggered, I had to turn it off.”
She added: “When I tell you I’m angry, it’s an understatement. Mike has been nothing but loyal to that man. He’s been nothing but a good friend of 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.”
Mr Trump tweeted that Mr Pence didn’t have the “courage” to go along with the lie that election was stolen as he oversaw the congressional certification process which was interrupted by rioters storming the building, some of whom chanted “hang Mike Pence”.
After the failed request for a meeting Ms Haley, a 2024 presidential hopeful, rushed to write an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal slamming the media for stoking a “nonstop Republican civil war,” adding that “it’s a calculated strategy to pit conservatives against one another”.
Writing that “people on the left, if they’re honest, can find Trump accomplishments they like,” such as the Covid vaccines and Middle East peace efforts, Ms Haley added that “people on the right can find fault with Trump actions, including on January 6”.
“Right or left, when people make these distinctions, they’re not trying to have it both ways. They’re using their brains,” she wrote.
Ms Haley hasn’t spoken to Mr Trump since the insurrection. Despite the op-ed, the Haley-Trump relationship seems frosty and it’s unclear when and if it will thaw.