Nikki Haley, the Republican presidential candidate, has made headlines with her recent statement of support for former President Donald Trump as the potential nominee for the party in the 2024 race, even if he were to be convicted of a felony. Her remarks emerged just hours before Trump’s anticipated surrender in Georgia.
During the inaugural Republican candidates’ debate for the 2024 U.S. presidential campaign in Milwaukee, six White House hopefuls, including Haley, were asked by moderators if they would stand by Trump as the nominee in the event of a felony conviction. Haley, among those who raised their hand, further addressed the matter the following morning.
Though she didn’t outright declare her intention to vote for a convicted felon, Haley expressed her allegiance to Trump over the incumbent Democratic President Joe Biden. She articulated her perspective on ABC News’ “Good Morning America” with George Stephanopoulos, stating that she foresees herself becoming the nominee and winning. Emphasizing the principle of innocence until proven guilty, Haley highlighted her willingness to let legal proceedings unfold. She stated, “We’ll see what happens. If he’s guilty, he’ll have to deal with it.”
When directly questioned about her rationale for supporting Trump post-conviction, Haley pointed to her discomfort with the idea of President Kamala Harris. Her belief was that a vote for Biden would translate to a vote for Harris, suggesting a worse outcome in her view.
Haley, who previously held the role of U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, offered a critique of Biden’s fitness for office, citing his age and a perceived decline in his health. She argued against having an 81-year-old president, asserting the need for leadership at their peak performance.
Notably, Haley’s statements coincided with the timing of Trump’s expected surrender to authorities in Georgia’s Fulton County. Trump and 18 others faced charges in a comprehensive racketeering indictment tied to their alleged attempts to overturn the 2020 U.S. presidential election results in the state. Trump maintained his innocence and attributed the investigation to political motives.
This marked the fourth indictment for the former president, who was already confronting federal charges linked to a special counsel’s investigation into his handling of classified documents and alleged endeavors to overturn the 2020 election outcome. Additionally, a New York district attorney’s inquiry delved into Trump’s supposed “scheme” to enhance his 2016 race prospects through illicit payments and manipulation of business records.