Former Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley says former President Donald Trump crossed a line with his behavior after his election defeat and that the Republican Party should not have stood by as he made unfounded allegations that the election was stolen from him.
In an interview with Politico’s Tim Alberta that was published on Friday, Haley said that Trump genuinely believed the election was stolen from him and that she did not confront him about his allegations.
In a portion of the interview before the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol, she said she believed Trump would “go on his way” after his legal challenges failed.
Alberta asked if she had spoken to Trump since the riot, she signaled that she had not and said, “When I tell you I’m angry, it’s an understatement.”
“[Former Vice President Mike Pence] has been nothing but loyal to that man. He’s been nothing but a good friend of that man,” she continued as she referenced Trump’s attempt to pressure Pence to overturn the results of the election, and his attack on the vice president after he did not.
She added, “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.”
When asked how Trump should be held accountable for what lawmakers say is his role in inciting the violence, Haley noted that he has been permanently banned from Twitter and other social media outlets, “which meant the world to him,” and his businesses will likely suffer.
“I think he’s lost any sort of political viability he was going to have… I think he’s lost the things that really could have kept him moving,” she said.
When pressed on what might happen if the Senate did not convict Trump on the charge of “incitement of insurrection” and bar him from holding office, Haley said, “He’s not going to run for federal office again.”
“I don’t think he’s going to be in the picture. I don’t think he can. He’s fallen so far,” she added.
“We need to acknowledge he let us down. He went down a path he shouldn’t have, and we shouldn’t have followed him, and we shouldn’t have listened to him. And we can’t let that ever happen again.”
Still, she noted that the “love [Republicans] have for him is still very strong.”
She argued that the Republican Party should not entirely distance itself from Trump and “go back to the way it was before” him. Rather, she said she believes it should “take the good that he built, leave the bad that he did.”
When asked if she regretted not confronting Trump on his false claims in the weeks after the election, she said, “At the time, I didn’t think that was dangerous.”
“Since the election… I mean, I’m deeply disturbed by what’s happened to him.”
She added, “Never did I think he would spiral out like this… I don’t feel like I know who he is anymore… The person that I worked with is not the person that I have watched since the election.”
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