Former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley signaled on Monday that she would back former President Donald Trump, if he decides to run for the Republican Party’s presidential nomination again in 2024.
The remark is a flip-flop. Earlier this year Haley said Trump had “fallen so far” that she couldn’t imagine him in the political picture going forward.
“I would not run if President Trump ran, and I would talk to him about it,” Haley said in response to a question from The Associated Press during a news conference at South Carolina State University when asked if she would support another White House bid from Trump.
“That’s something that we will have a conversation about, at some point,” she added.
The former President has previously, privately floated the possibility of a 2024 presidential run.
The comments from Haley on Monday come as Republicans continue to fawn over the former president and slather him with accolades.
The National Republican Senatorial Committee Chair Rick Scott presented Trump with its inaugural “Champion for Freedom Award,” over the weekend during its donor retreat hours after Trump aired grievances and attacked his critics during the NRSC’s weekend events, offering little by way of vision for the conservative movement.
Haley left the Trump administration in 2018 on good terms but in recent months had stepped out of Trump’s shadow to criticize the former president for his role in the Jan. 6 Capitol attack.
“We need to acknowledge he let us down,” Haley told Politico in an interview published in February. “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.”
She predicted at the time that Trump would find himself “further and further isolated,” when asked about holding him accountable.
“He’s not going to run for federal office again,” she told Politico in the February interview. Later adding: “I don’t think he’s going to be in the picture. I don’t think he can. He’s fallen so far.”
The comments were a far cry from what appeared to be a defense of Trump on Monday, when asked about the former president’s attack on Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) who Trump called a “dumb son of a bitch” during the NRSC weekend retreat.
“I think former President Trump’s always been opinionated,” Haley said at the news conference when asked about Trump’s comments and if they hurt the GOP.
“Just because he left being president, that’s not going to stop. But I think what he also talked about were all the successes that he had in the administration. And I think that’s what Republicans are uniting on,” she said.