‘He let us down’: Nikki Haley breaks with former boss Donald Trump
“We need to acknowledge he let us down,” she said in an interview to Politico posted just hours before Trump’s lawyers started their arguments at the impeachment trial
Nikki Haley, the former US ambassador to the United Nations who is widely expected to run for the White House in 2024, has lashed out at her one-time boss, former president Donald Trump, saying he “let us down” and that Republicans should never have followed him.
Haley’s remarks were seen as constituting a major break by a senior Republican with the former president, who might be contemplating another run for the White House if he is acquitted in the ongoing impeachment trial – which he is expected to be.
“We need to acknowledge he let us down,” Haley said in an interview to Politico in an article posted just hours before Trump’s lawyers started their arguments at the impeachment trial.
She was referring to the January 6 storming of the US Capitol by a mob of Trump supporters.
“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,” said Haley, who was the first Indian-American to hold a cabinet rank position, as Trump’s ambassador to the United Nations.
Republican leaders have largely rallied around the former president, unwilling to antagonise him and his supporters.
Those who dared to criticise him for the Capitol riots quickly fell in line such as House minority leader Kevin McCarthy and Senator Lindsey Graham.
“Never did I think he would spiral out like this… I don’t feel like I know who he is anymore… The person that I worked with is not the person that I have watched since the election,” Haley said.
Should she have spoken out sooner? “At the time, I didn’t think that was dangerous,” she said in the interview.
“I didn’t think that there was anything to fear about him. There was nothing to fear about him when I worked for him. I mean, he may have been brash. He may have been blunt. But he was someone who cared about the country… I still stand by that. I don’t think we should ever apologise for the policies that we fought for and the things that we did during his four years,” she said. “I mean, I’m deeply disturbed by what’s happened to him.”
She, however, thinks the impeachment was a “waste of time”.
“I think he’s going to find himself further and further isolated,” Haley told the interviewer. “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.”
Haley believes Trump won’t run for office again. “I don’t think he’s going to be in the picture,” she said. “I don’t think he can. He’s fallen so far.”