Donald Trump refuses to meet Nikki Haley after UN ex-envoy seeks an audience in Mar-a-Lago
She was known to be closer to former president Donald Trump than some of the other Republicans but after the January 6 insurrection at the Capitol, their equations have changed. Former UN ambassador Nikki Haley has criticized Trump on more than one occasion after the incident and even went to the extent of making remarks like the latter “will be judged harshly by history” and “I don’t feel like I know who he is anymore”.
The remarks did not escape Trump’s ears and eyes and that became evident on Wednesday, February 17, when he refused to give Haley an appointment after she requested a sit-down with him at his Mar-a-Lago residence where he has retreated post his presidency last month. According to Politico Playbook PM: “NIKKI HALEY reached out to former president DONALD TRUMP on Wednesday to request a sit-down at Mar-a-Lago, but a source familiar tells Playbook that he turned her down. The two haven’t spoken since the insurrection on Jan. 6, when Haley blasted Trump for inciting his supporters to storm the Capitol.”
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The snub came hours after Haley’s op-ed with the Wall Street Journal was released in which she appeared to do damage control about her sour relationship with Trump following repeated criticisms. In the article titled ‘The Media Tries to Divide Republicans’, the former North Carolina governor said: “Praising Trump’s record and criticizing his conduct isn’t ‘having it both ways.’ It’s simply common sense.”
“Here’s my take: Most of Mr. Trump’s major policies were outstanding and made America stronger, safer and more prosperous. Many of his actions since the election were wrong and will be judged harshly by history. That’s not a contradiction. It’s common sense. We can’t go back to the pre-Trump GOP. Those days are over, and they should be,” Haley added.
It was only last week that Haley slammed the former president in an interview with Politico saying he “let us down” by his actions post the 2020 presidential election and said the Republican Party should have never followed the path he showed. She said Trump was going to find himself more and more isolated. “'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,” the 49-year-old said.
“He’s not going to run for federal office again,” Haley said, adding: “I don't think he's going to be in the picture. I don't think he can. He's fallen so far.”
Haley is considered to be one of the GOP’s most prominent faces running for the White House in 2024 and from her failed effort to get an appointment with Trump, one also gets the point that the former president still is a significant figure in the GOP and his support base is something that cannot be overlooked.
Haley's flip-flop on Trump
Haley’s stance on Trump in recent months has been contradictory. Not long ago, the former envoy refused to confront the former president over his allegations that the presidential election was stolen. “I understand the president. I understand that genuinely, to his core, he believes he was wronged,” Haley told Politico’s Tim Alberta. “This is not him making it up.”
Things changed after the January 6 riots. Last month, Haley went after the former president said in a closed-door speech to the Republican National Committee in Florida in the wake of the riots saying his actions “will be judged harshly by history”. And then came the hard-hitting interview of last week.
CNN reported about Trump’s refusal to meet Haley and titled it ‘Nikki Haley learns there's no halfway with Trump’.
Things could become tight in the GOP as far as the presidential race of 2024 is concerned. After Trump was acquitted last Saturday, February 13, in the Senate over the impeachment trial for ‘inciting insurrection’, the rumor that he would run for the White House again in 2024 has resurfaced. The GOP is deeply polarized on the question of upholding Trump’s legacy and it is to be seen how Haley pursues her presidential dream amid the challenges.