He “let us down” and “we shouldn’t have followed him,” says first desi to get cabinet position.
Clearly breaking with Donald Trump, leading Indian American Republican leader Nikki Haley says the former president “went down a path he shouldn’t have, and we shouldn’t have followed him.”
“We need to acknowledge he let us down,” Haley, the first ever Indian American to get a cabinet position as the US Ambassador to the United Nations told Politico in an interview published Friday.
“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.”
Haley, speculated as a top 2024 presidential contender, told Politico that she has not spoken with Trump since the Jan. 6 Capitol riot by a group of Trump supporters,
She also expressed her disappointment with remarks Trump gave at a rally ahead of the riot condemning his own vice president, Mike Pence.
READ: Is Nikki Haley getting ready for a 2024 White House run? (January 14, 2021)
“When I tell you I’m angry, it’s an understatement,” Haley told Politico. “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 in the days immediately following the attack said in a speech to Republican National Committee members that Trump was “badly wrong with his words,” at his Jan. 6 rally.
“And it wasn’t just his words,” she added at the time. “His actions since Election Day will be judged harshly by history.”
Calling it “Nikki Haley’s Time for Choosing”, Politico in a 17,000 word profile said, “The 2024 hopeful can’t decide who she wants to be—the leader of a post-Trump GOP or a ‘friend’ to the president who tried to sabotage democracy.”
Late last year, Haley had called Trump after he refused to acknowledge his defeat in the Nov. 3 presidential election, Politico said.
“I want to make sure you’re okay,” she told him. “You’re my president, but you’re also my friend.”
READ: Trump’s actions will be judged harshly by history: Nikki Haley (January 8, 2021)
Asked by Politico whether she had attempted to persuade Trump that he was wrong—that the election wasn’t rigged, that he had lost legitimately, Haley replied, “No, when he was talking about that, I didn’t address it.”
“I understand the president. I understand that genuinely, to his core, he believes he was wronged,” Haley was quoted as saying. “This is not him making it up.”
“This is coming to the end,” she acknowledged. “Up until now, he has not been able to prove it in court. So, if this continues to go down that path, Biden will be president. He knows that.”
But “There’s nothing that you’re ever going to do that’s going to make him feel like he legitimately lost the election,” Haley said. “He’s got a big bully pulpit. He should be responsible with it.”
Asked if Trump was “being responsible with it?” she replied, “He believes it.”
When pressed why couldn’t she answer the basic question of whether the president was acting responsibly, Haley, according to Politico pointed out the window toward an emerald-tinted putting green.
“That would be like you saying that grass is blue and you genuinely believing it. Is it irresponsible that you’re colorblind and you truly believe that?” she was quoted as saying.
Reminded about Trump’s oath as president, Haley said, “He believes he’s following that oath. This would be different if he was being deceptive.”
“But what about the president broadcasting a loop of lies that had been thoroughly debunked? Isn’t that being deceptive?” asked the interviewer.
“He deserves the truth. Is he hearing the truth?” Haley told Politico. “I don’t think certain people around him are telling him the truth.”
Haley’s stunning remarks came as Trump’s legal team is set to defend the former president on Friday in his second Senate impeachment trial.
Haley, who many speculate is a possible top 2024 presidential contender, announced a new political action committee last month named after her Stand for America advocacy group.
Haley spokesperson Chaney Denton said at the time that the PAC would be focused on helping get conservatives back in control in the House and Senate in 2022, according to the Hill.
Bradley Crate, the treasurer for Haley’s PAC, was the treasurer for Trump’s presidential campaign in 2016 and Sen. Mitt Romney’s (R-Utah) top financial adviser for both his presidential runs.
Nikki Haley’s group says rise of socialism defined 2020 (December 28, 2020)
Nikki Haley slams Biden’s immigration policies (December 2, 2020)
Nikki Haley wants diaspora to get involved in American politics (September 2, 2020)
Nikki Haley bats for Trump; asserts America is not racist (August 25, 2020)
Indian American Nikki Haley launches new advocacy group (March 1, 2019)
For Nikki Haley, new year begins with a new Twitter account (January 2, 2019)
Nikki Haley resigns as US Ambassador to UN, will leave at year’s end (October 9, 2018)