Former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley, once a veritable rock star of the Trump administration, seemingly burned her bridge with former President Donald Trump and his supporters when she sharply criticized him in the aftermath of the Capitol riot in January.
She seems to be attempting to repair that bridge now, and said Monday that she would support the former president if he ran for president in 2024, even setting aside her likely bid for the presidency if that were the case, Fox News reported.
That revelation from Haley, who is viewed as a potential frontrunner for the Republican nomination in 2024, came Monday while speaking to reporters during a tour of South Carolina State University in the southern state she used to govern.
“I would not run” if Trump runs
Asked by Associated Press reporter Meg Kinnard if Trump would have her support if he decided to run again in the next presidential cycle, Haley nodded and said, “Yes.”
As whether his running would “preclude” her own likely campaign, she replied, “I would not run if President Trump ran, and I would talk to him about it. That’s something that we will have a conversation about at some point — if that decision is something that has to be made. But yeah, I would, absolutely.”
“I had a great working relationship with him, I appreciated the way he let me do my job,” she added. “I thought we did some fantastically great foreign policy things together. Look, I just want to keep building on what we accomplished and not watch it get torn down.”
Asked when she had last spoken directly with Trump, Haley said the two spoke after the 2020 election, but before the riot at the U.S. Capitol building on Jan. 6.
I asked @NikkiHaley if she would support Donald Trump if he runs again in 2024.
“Yes,” she told me.
“I would not run if President Trump ran, and I would talk to him about it,” she added. “That’s something that we will have a conversation about, at some point.”
Story upcoming pic.twitter.com/8uGwxk2s84
— Meg Kinnard (@MegKinnardAP) April 12, 2021
Haley’s announcement of her prospective support for a Trump 2024 campaign is the latest shifting of her stance with regard to the former president over the past five years.
A lengthy Politico profile of Haley earlier this year documented how she had initially fervently opposed Trump’s candidacy during the 2016 primary season, only to then support him and take the high-profile U.N. ambassadorship position in his new administration.
She was one of the few members of Trump’s team to exit the administration on her own terms following the 2018 midterms, and while she had some subtle criticisms of his behavior at times, she nonetheless supported his 2020 reelection campaign effort. Following Jan. 6, her critiques grew much sharper as she openly proclaimed him to be in the wrong and asserted that the GOP needed to move past the Trump era.
Now she is back to expressing her support for him — or, at the very least, his successful “America First” policies. Time will tell how this plays out, not just with Trump himself, but with the core of the GOP base which remains strongly supportive of the former president.