Former South Carolina governor Nikki Haley requested a meeting with former President Trump at Mar-a-Lago in Florida on Wednesday, but Trump refused to meet, Politico reported on Thursday.
The request came on the heels of a Politico magazine story in which Haley condemned Trump for his role in the January 6 riot at the Capitol.
“I think he’s lost any sort of political viability he was going to have,” Haley said on January 12. “We need to acknowledge [Trump] let us down….He went down a path he shouldn’t have, and we shouldn’t have followed him.”
However, Haley has not expressed support for Trump’s impeachment and defended parts of the former president’s record in an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal on Wednesday.
Haley is reportedly making preparations for a 2024 presidential run and is likely wary of alienating Trump’s base. She pointedly refused to condemn Trump’s false election fraud claims in an interview with Politico conducted before the riot, repeatedly implying that the president didn’t bare moral responsibility for misleading voters because he really believed the election was stolen.
“I understand the president. I understand that genuinely, to his core, he believes he was wronged,” Haley said. “This is not him making it up.”
Trump’s refusal to meet with Haley comes as part of a broader fight within the GOP over the direction of the Republican Party. The contest has also pitted Trump against Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.).
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