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Nikki Haley Just Threw Donald Trump Under the Bus and People Are Not Having It

Jessica McGowan/Getty Images // Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

Republican former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley was once considered a moderate, but her eventual full-throated support for former President Donald Trump has led Democrats across the nation to consider her one of Trumpism's most prominent enablers.

Despite campaigning for his opponents in the 2016 Republican presidential primaries, Haley was appointed to serve as Trump's ambassador to the United Nations in 2017. Even after she left the position during his term, she continued to defend him and further embrace the growing belligerence and misinformation from the Republican party under Trump.

After Trump's blatant lies about the integrity of the 2020 election motivated a mob of his supporters to lay deadly siege upon the United States Capitol in a failed insurrection attempt last month, Haley admitted that Trump would likely be "judged harshly by history."

But just two weeks later, Haley was once again defending Trump, conceding that the Capitol riots were "not great" but still urging his critics to "give the man a break" and "move on" instead of proceeding with his Senate impeachment trial.

Now, a new Politico profile from Tim Alberta examines the political landscape Haley faces ahead of the 2024 election—in which she's a favorite to win the Republican nomination.

It features the former Governor's most unequivocal break with Trump yet.

Haley said to Alberta:

"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."

She continued:

"I think what we need to do is take the good that he built, leave the bad that he did, and get back to a place where we can be a good, valuable, effective party."

She admitted to Alberta that she didn't think Trump was "dangerous" when she dismissed warnings of the threat his normalization of lies and violence posed, but that she still thinks Trump cared about the country.

Given Haley's constant failed attempts to simultaneously embody Trumpism and moderation, Trump's critics weren't at all convinced of her latest mea culpa.






Some saw Haley's words as a further indictment of her attempts to play both sides of the conservative coin.




It won't be for another three years til the public sees whether or not Haley's motivations—be they ambivalence or ambition—are enough to secure the Republican nomination in the post-Trump era.