By Stephanie Toone, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Updated Feb 15, 2021
Former U.S. ambassador revealed her ‘disgust’ with former president in new interview
Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley has joined a chorus of Republicans, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who have categorically condemned the actions of former President Donald Trump on Jan. 6.
In a new interview, the longtime conservative thought leader candidly described her “disgust” with the former president’s actions following Election Day.
The former South Carolina governor was interviewed by Politico for a story published Friday. Her statements during the interview reveal a clear divide between Haley and the former president, who appointed her to the U.S. ambassador role. Trump’s attempts at legally halting the election process, disputing the results and further inciting his supporters prior to the deadly attack on the U.S. Capitol were all reasons to denounce him, Haley said in the interview.
“We need to acknowledge he let us down,” Haley said. “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.”
The South Carolina native has frequently been mentioned as a potential Republican presidential candidate for 2024 or 2028. Haley stands as one of the few women of color to become a high-ranking official during the Trump administration. She also exited her role as ambassador on solid terms with Trump, which was not the case for many of the officials who resigned during that administration.
There were even discussions that Haley would replace former Vice President Mike Pence as a running mate this past election season. However, Haley’s take on Trump’s treatment of Pence during the Electoral College count shows her loyalty aligns with the former vice president.
“When I tell you I’m angry, it’s an understatement,” Haley said. “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.”
Friday’s article was not the first time Haley expressed disdain for Trump’s fight to challenge the election results. She told a group of 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.”
Haley explained to Politico that she was aware her speech was not going to garner a “whole bunch of love.” The 49-year-old, who was the first female governor of South Carolina, admitted she was well aware that the love for the former president is “still very strong,” so she suggests her party use his positive influence to galvanize and rehabilitate the party and, furthermore, the country.
“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. But, at the same time, it’s bigger than the party.”
“I hope our country can come together and figure out how we pull this back,” she added.
Stephanie has been telling stories her whole life. Her interest in the written word started with short stories and journal entries about run-ins with classroom bullies as a child and matured to writing for her high school newspaper over the years. She has written and edited for The Tennessean, Augusta Chronicle and American City & County.