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Nikki Haley hits back at ‘insecure’ Trump ahead of New Hampshire face-off

The former South Carolina governor said Mr Trump’s personal attacks mean he is feeling ‘threatened’ and ‘insecure’

Martha McHardy
Friday 19 January 2024 18:02 GMT
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Nikki Haley claims US has 'never been a racist country'

Nikki Haley has hit back at Donald Trump after he ramped up his attacks on her ahead of the New Hampshire primary on Tuesday.

The former South Carolina governor said Mr Trump’s personal attacks mean he is feeling “threatened” and “insecure” as they head towards the state’s 2024 GOP presidential contest.

It comes after the former president shared an article from far-right conspiracy site The Gateway Pundit which claimed Ms Haley is not a “natural born citizen” and is therefore not eligible to serve as President of the United States because her parents, Indian immigrants, were not American citizens when she was born in 1972.

Ms Haley, who served as Mr Trump’s ambassador to the United Nations, was born in the United States and is therefore eligible to run for president, according to the 14th Amendment.

In a separate post, Mr Trump referred to Ms Haley by her birth name, Nimrata - albeit, misspelt.

“Anyone listening to Nikki ‘Nimrada’ Haley’s wacked out speech last night, would think that she won the Iowa Primary. She didn’t, and she couldn’t even beat a very flawed Ron DeSanctimonious, who’s out of money, and out of hope,” Mr Trump posted on Truth Social.

Nikki Haley has hit back at Donald Trump after he ramped up his attacks on her ahead of the New Hampshire primary on Tuesday (AP)

At a CNN town hall on Thursday, Ms Haley was asked for her response to the former president’s recent social media posts, to which she responded: “And look, the name-calling — I know President Trump well. That’s what he does when he feels threatened. That’s what he does when he feels insecure,” Haley said. “I don’t take these things personally; it doesn’t bother me. I know him very well, and this is what he does. I know that I am a threat; I know that’s why he’s doing that.”

Ms Haley added that she had no plans to “get into the name-calling back with him.”

Mr Trump rose to political prominence in part by pushing the false and racist claim that then-president Obama was not born in the United States.

In 2011, he told NBC’s Today that he had “real doubts” about Mr Obama’s citizenship, which was acquired at birth when the future 44th president was born in Hawaii in 1961, and he claimed Mr Obama was born in Kenya.

Mr Trump also claimed, falsely, that Mr Obama was “hiding” his birth certificate because it allegedly specified that he was a Muslim even though the ex-president is a Christian and American birth certificates do not list a child’s religion.

He has also deployed the same tactic against US Senator Ted Cruz, who in 2016 he claimed was ineligible for the White House because he was born in Canada, as well as vice president Kamala Harris, whose mother was an Indian immigrant and whose father was Jamaican, during the 2020 election.

Donald Trump is currently polling ten point ahead of Nikki Haley (AP)

Mr Trump is currently leading Ms Haley, who recently sparked uproar when she claimed the US has “never been a racist country,” by ten points ahead of next week’s primary, according to Decision Desk HQ average of New Hampshire polls.

It follows Mr Trump’s decisive victory in the Iowa caucus in which he won 51 per cent of the vote

Ron DeSantis, who came in second place, won 21 per cent of the vote, while Nikki Haley finished in third place with 19 per cent of the vote.

Rumours have swirled that Ms Haley could be Mr Trump’s pick for vice president – despite his close allies and advisers openly opposing this.

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