Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley suggested late Monday that Democrats seeking accountability over former President Trump’s role in the recent deadly Capitol riot were “beating him up” and should “give him a break.”
“I don’t even think there is a basis for impeachment,” Haley told Fox News’ Laura Ingraham in an interview. Haley offered no qualifications for those claims — opting instead to suggest that impeaching her former boss was a bode for disunity.
Nikki Haley: I don’t even think there’s a basis for impeachment… Now they’re going to turn around and bring about impeachment yet they say they’re for unity… I mean at some point I mean give the man a break. I mean move on… pic.twitter.com/IqnZrIDIY0
— Acyn Torabi (@Acyn) January 26, 2021
“Now they’re going to turn around and bring about impeachment, yet they say they are for unity,” Haley said. “They beat him up before he got into office. They are beating him up after he leaves office. I mean at some point, I mean, give the man a break! I mean, move on. If you are truly about moving on, move on.”
The comments from the ex-Trump official, who is also a former South Carolina governor seen as a potential 2024 GOP presidential contender, recycled a false Republican narrative that accountability and unity are somehow, inexplicably, at odds with each other.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) countered those claims during a briefing last week, saying a refusal to move forward with the Senate trial “would be harmful to unity.”
“That’s our responsibility, to uphold the integrity of the Congress of the United States. That’s our responsibility, to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States. And that is what we will do,” she said at the time.
President Biden reinforced his own support of the Senate’s impeachment proceedings on Monday, telling CNN in an interview that the forthcoming trial “has to happen,” even as Republicans whose fury over Trump’s incitement of violence at the Capitol appears to be quickly evaporating as they line up in opposition to an impeachment that could effectively bar him from ever holding office again.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has signaled he may be open to convicting the former president, saying last week that Trump’s mob that laid siege on the Capitol earlier this month were “fed lies,” and “provoked by the President.”
Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) similarly told Anchorage Daily News that Trump encouraged his supporters “to fight” during a rally speech on Jan. 6 ahead of the riot. But at least 17 Republicans would be needed to secure conviction.
Haley’s efforts to defend Trump, by painting him as a victim, amplifies the perception that enduring support for the ex-president could continue to linger and potentially bolster election bids for GOP candidates. Haley is rumored to be mulling a 2024 presidential campaign.
“The idea that they’re going to do impeachment that’s not going to bring our country together that’s only dividing our country,” Haley said.