Once a strong ally of former Presisdent Trump, former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley said Republicans should move on from him and acknowledge he failed the party by contesting the 2020 election.
“I don’t think he’s going to be in the picture. I don’t think he can. He’s fallen so far,” she said in an interview for a Politico magazine cover story.
“We need to acknowledge he let us down. He went down a path he shouldn’t have, and we shouldn’t have followed him.”
The former South Carolina governor particularly was upset about Trump blaming Vice President Mike Pence for certifying the 2020 election in Congress.
“When I tell you I’m angry, it’s an understatement,” she said. “Mike has been nothing but loyal to that man. He’s been nothing but a good friend of that man.
“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,” said Haley.
She said that after the election, Trump was given bad advice.
“Never did I think he would spiral out like this,” Haley said.
“I don’t feel like I know who he is anymore,” she continued.
“The person that I worked with is not the person that I have watched since the election.”
But she called the current impeachment effort a “waste of time.”
“I think his business is suffering at this point. I think he’s lost any sort of political viability he was going to have,” she said. “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.”
Shortly after the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol, Haley said in close-door remarks that Trump’s actions “will be judged harshly by history.”
“President Trump has not always chosen the right words,” Haley said, according to a Politico report at the time. “He was wrong with his words in Charlottesville, and I told him so at the time. He was badly wrong with his words yesterday.”
Once a defender
But Haley, who drew praise from conservatives for her performance as U.N. ambassador, defended the president on many occasions.
She backed Trump last April when the president threatened to withdraw funding from the World Health Organization over its response to the coronavirus pandemic.
She said in an interview with Fox News that “having worked with many of these U.N. agencies, they don’t like being told what to do, but they always have their hand out waiting for the money.”
Haley also defended Trump during the impeachment inquiry in December 2019, calling the House Democrats’ investigation a mixture of posturing and politics.
“I don’t believe the Dems are pushing these impeachment hearings because they believe they can defeat the Pres,” she wrote on Twitter. “I believe this is a political game to win senate seats of those senators in vulnerable elections. It is one of the biggest political campaigns we have ever seen.”
And she defended him on the substance of the impeachment charges.
“You’re gonna impeach a president for asking for a favor that didn’t happen and giving money and it wasn’t withheld? I don’t know what you would impeach him on,” Haley said. She later added: “The Ukrainians never did the investigation. And the president released the funds. I mean, when you look at those, there’s just nothing impeachable there.”
She criticized the anonymous author of an insider, anti-Trump book as “arrogant and cowardly.” And she revealed that the-Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and then-Chief of Staff John Kelly were privately discussing resisting the president, which she regarded as “offensive.”