Former Republican Governor of South Carolina Nikki Haley has ignited a firestorm of criticism following a Wall Street Journal interview in which she fawned over former Republican President Donald Trump.
Haley, who was Trump's Ambassador to the United Nations and his expected by many to run for the Republican nomination in 2024, praised Trump's role in the Republican Party and lauded his supposed accomplishments for the country during his presidency.
Her comments have inspired waves of ire from both sides of the political aisle, particularly in light of her previous criticisms of the former President.
In the interview, conducted before an appearance that the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California, Haley told the WSJ that she considers Trump to be a friend and will only run for president in 2024 after consulting with him first.
Haley's fawning over Trump stopped short of sharing his claims that he won in 2020, however—Haley believes he lost the election.
As she told the WSJ:
"There was fraud in the election, but I don't think that the numbers were so big that it swayed the vote in the wrong direction."
That's precisely the sort of quote that will get you immediately deleted from Trump's Christmas card list, to say the least.
But Haley seemed unconcerned, going on to praise Trump as a hero both to the Republican Party and the country.
"He has a strong legacy from his administration. He has the ability to get strong people elected, and he has the ability to move the ball, and I hope that he continues to do that."
"We need him in the Republican Party."
"I don't want us to go back to the days before Trump."
Haley's comments were in striking contrast to those she has made previously about Trump, of whom she has frequently been critical and whom she excoriated following the January 6 insurrection.
In a February interview with Politico, Haley said she was "disgusted" by Trump's actions and decried the ways he has impacted the Republican Party.
"...[W]e shouldn't have followed him, and we shouldn't have listened to him. And we can't let that ever happen again."
And she predicted a Trump-free future for the Republican Party.
"I don't think he's going to be in the picture. I don't think he can. He's fallen so far."However Haley felt then, the bloom seems to be back on the rose now—and Twitter is dragging her for her hypocrisy.
Even many Republicans were disgusted by Haley's comments.
Haley has been suspected of having presidential ambitions for years and has been raising money for her own political-action committee. She recently spent several days in Iowa, where the presidential nomination process begins.
She and South Dakota Republican Governor Kristi Noem are the only women currently expected to run for the Republican nomination.