Facing backlash over Trump criticism, Indian American Republican charges media with going “berserk”.
Facing a backlash over her criticism of former President Donald Trump’s role in the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, Indian American politician
Nikki Haley has accused “the liberal media” of instigating a Republican civil war.
The media goes “berserk” whenever a Republican official criticizes Trump, said the former US ambassador to the United Nations under Trump, in a Wall Street Journal op-ed Wednesday,
Such conduct attempts to “pit conservatives against one another,” and that it’s a “ridiculous false choice” argued Haley, the first ever Indian American to get a cabinet rank under any US president.
“Real life is never that simple. Someone can do both good and bad things,” wrote Haley, who quit her UN job in 2018 amid reports that she was eyeing a presidential run in 2024.
“People feel strongly about Mr. Trump, but we can acknowledge reality,” she added.
READ: Indian American Republican leader Nikki Haley breaks with Trump (February 12, 2021)
“People on the right can find fault with Trump actions, including on Jan. 6. Right or left, when people make these distinctions, they’re not trying to have it both ways. They’re using their brains.”
Haley called on the Republican Party to be “honest about what worked and what didn’t over the past four years,” and warned that continued infighting would only benefit the party’s opponents on the left.
“We can’t go back to the pre-Trump GOP. Those days are over, and they should be,” Haley wrote. “But we lost our majorities in the House and Senate, and we’ve lost the national popular vote in seven of the past eight presidential elections. Surely there’s room for improvement as a party.”
Haley made headlines this month when she broke with Trump in an interview published by Politico, saying she was “disappointed” and “disgusted” by Trump’s actions on Jan. 6, when he spoke at a rally shortly before a group of rioters broke into the US Capitol.
“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 said in the interview.
READ: Is Nikki Haley getting ready for a 2024 White House run? (January 14, 2021)
Despite those remarks, Haley still praised Trump’s work in office, writing in Wednesday’s op-ed that she considered most of his policies “outstanding,” while still condemning his actions after the election.
She noted that although he brought millions of voters to the GOP, the party also lost voters during his presidency.
“I will gladly defend the bulk of the Trump record and his determination to shake up the corrupt status quo in Washington,” she added.
“I will never defend the indefensible. I didn’t do that when I served alongside President Trump, and I’m not going to start now.”
Meanwhile, Trump declined to meet with Haley at his Mar-a-Lago resort this week, the Hill reported citing a source familiar with the matter.
Politico first reported that Haley reached out to Trump on Wednesday to request a face-to-face meeting, but Trump turned her down after Haley’s criticism.
A spokesperson for Trump did not respond to its request for comment, the Hill said.
Trump has met with other GOP officials at Mar-a-Lago since leaving office, including House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and more recently House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.), the Hill noted.
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