“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 told Politico during an interview released this week.
Haley, a 2024 hopeful, said the riot at the U.S. Capitol building on Jan. 6 changed her mind about the former president.
“When I tell you I’m angry, it’s an understatement,” Haley said. “I am so disappointed in the fact that [despite] the loyalty and friendship he had with Mike Pence, that he would do that to him. Like, I’m disgusted by it.”
Her comments are similar to a speech she made to Republican National Committee members in the days after the attack, in which she said Trump was “badly wrong with his words” on the day of the riot.
“And it wasn’t just his words,” she added at the time. “His actions since Election Day will be judged harshly by history.”
Just a couple of months ago, Haley defended Trump’s refusal to concede the election to Joe Biden.
Now she’s blaming Trump’s legal challenges on his lawyers.
“I understand the president. I understand that genuinely, to his core, he believes he was wronged,” she said. “There’s nothing that you’re ever going to do that’s going to make him feel like he legitimately lost the election. He’s got a big bully pulpit. He should be responsible with it.”
Haley told Politico she wasn’t expecting “a whole bunch of love” from her RNC speech about the Capitol riot.
“I know how much people love Donald Trump. I know it. I feel it,” she explained. “Whether it’s an RNC room or social media or talking to donors, I can tell you that the love they have for him is still very strong. That’s not going to just fall to the wayside. Nor do I think the Republican Party is going to go back to the way it was before Donald Trump. I don’t think it should.”
Not long ago, Haley praised Trump’s leadership. During the RNC convention this summer, Haley slammed Democrats for vilifying Trump and said he has “always put America first.” But now Haley is arguing Trump’s political career is over.
“I don’t think he can,” she said when asked if Trump will run for federal office again. “He’s fallen so far.”
However, Haley did say Democrats’ latest impeachment effort against Trump is a “waste of time,” saying the former president’s isolation from mainstream politics should be punishment enough.
“I think his business is suffering at this point. I think he’s lost any sort of political viability he was going to have. I think he’s lost his social media, which meant the world to him. I mean, I think he’s lost the things that really could have kept him moving,” she said.
Haley, who recently launched a political action committee in possible preparation for a 2024 presidential run, is distancing herself from Trump now that he’s allegedly on the political outs.
But Trump still holds enormous influence over the Republican Party, and he does not respond graciously to those who are disloyal.
Haley, however, insisted that it’s time for the GOP to move on from Trump.
“What we need to do is take the good that he built, leave the bad that he did, and get back to a place where we can be a good, valuable, effective party. But at the same time, it’s bigger than the party,” she said. “I hope our country can come together and figure out how we pull this back.”