When Nikki Haley made her bid for the White House in 2024, it wasn’t her first rodeo in terms of surviving turbulent political hearsay. When rumors swirled about the former South Carolina governor having an alleged affair with ex-POTUS Donald Trump, she wasn’t afraid to hit back with a response.
The rumor, which came about due to the 2018 book “Fire and Fury” written by Michael Wolff. In the controversial book, Wolff accused Trump and Haley of spending a little too much one-on-one time with each other. Readers ultimately figured it out when Wolff said that in his book, he had written clues about a White House affair but didn’t give many additional details.
As expected, the White House quickly shut down “Fire and Fury” as a book filled with “phony” lies. But despite the pushback, many people still believed that this gossip was, in fact, true. When Haley featured as a guest on a podcast called “Women Rule,” she spoke out further about how ladies in powerful positions often face broader challenges.
She stated, “…I’ve noticed that if you speak your mind and you’re strong about it, and you say what you believe, there is a small percentage of people that resent that,” she said. “And the way they deal with it is to try and throw arrows — lies or not — to diminish you.”
Nikki added that she wouldn’t allow the speculation to get to her, and instead was focused on her much larger goal of becoming president. Haley isn’t wrong about that, but it’s still not 100% confirmed whether she’s telling the truth or not.
Nikki Haley’s mixed feelings regarding trump
Before deciding to come head-to-head with him in the 2024 election, Nikki Haley had quite a history of criticizing Donald Trump. In 2016, she told Today, “Mr. Trump has definitely contributed to what I think is just irresponsible talk.” She was referring to the former president’s notorious legacy of misinformation, but despite these concerns, she still decided to join his administration. As a result, she became the first woman of color (her parents are South Asian) to achieve a senior position in Trump’s cabinet.
From 2017 to 2018, Haley represented the United States as an Ambassador to the U.N.
When she left the Trump administration, she decided to stay active in Republican politics. In 2021, after the Capitol riots, she encouraged the GOP to move past Trump’s destructive leadership. But despite making her stance known, she later retracted her disapproval of Donald Trump being president, telling the Wall Street Journal that the country needed him in the Republic party, and that she didn’t want to go back to pre-Trump days.
Somehow, Haley has managed to emphasize how important Donald Trump’s influence was for the Republicans, but simultaneously has criticized his errors. Now that she hopes to succeed in the 2024 presidential election, Haley is back to denouncing Trump, which makes sense since he is her primary competitor for the Republican nomination.
It may be a tricky task to get him out — despite being indicted in both federal and civil court cases, even prison couldn’t hold him back from running for president a second time.
Trump and Nikki Haley’s battle to become president
In November 2023, Nikki Haley appeared in a South Carolina town hall. Her sentiments towards the former POTUS remained lukewarm, and she still fearlessly criticized Trump’s potential return to the White House.
Haley has kept a delicate balance of conceding to Trump’s success and influence, while advocating for herself as a viable president. She’s kept this balancing act up because it will help her maintain favor with voters across the board.
Still, she made a bold statement to the Associated Press, saying, “I agree with a lot of his policies, but the truth is, rightly or wrongly, chaos follows him. We have too much division in this country, and too many threats around the world to be sitting in chaos once again.”
Trump hit back on a right-wing social media platform called Truth Social, disparaging Haley in a furious response where he called her a “weak and ineffective bird brain” and continued to call her bad for the country, calling out the former governor for calling him a great president and saying that she would never run against him. He seemed confident in himself when he mockingly added that she was down 50 points.