Nikki Haley: Trump Sides With Dictators Who Want To 'Destroy America'

The 2024 GOP candidate isn’t holding back against Donald Trump ahead of the South Carolina primary.

GEORGETOWN, S.C. ― Republican presidential contender Nikki Haley slammed Donald Trump on Thursday for being unwilling to call out Russian President Vladimir Putin over the death of top Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny.

“Donald Trump is siding with a dictator who kills his political opponents,” Haley said at a rally ahead of the South Carolina GOP primary on Saturday.

“Donald Trump is siding with a tyrant who arrests American journalists and holds them hostage. Donald Trump is siding with a man who’s made no bones about the fact he wants to destroy America,” she added.

It’s the sharpest case she’s made yet for why the former president doesn’t deserve another chance at the White House.

Trump has yet to condemn Russia or Putin for the 47-year-old Navalny’s death in an Arctic prison last week. Instead, Trump has compared his legal troubles ― he faces 91 criminal charges across several cases — to the dissident’s death.

“It is a form of Navalny,” Trump said at a Fox News town hall on Tuesday. “It is a form of communism or fascism.”

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.), stumping for Trump in South Carolina on Thursday, also dismissed Navalny’s death, telling reporters, “I really could care less.”

Since Navalny’s death, hundreds of people have been arrested across in Russia after they tried to pay tribute to him with flowers and candles. The Russian government is refusing to hand over Navalny’s body unless his family agrees to a secret funeral.

President Joe Biden called Trump’s remarks “astounding” at a fundraiser on Wednesday in San Francisco.

“He’s comparing himself to Navalny and saying that because our country’s become a communist country, he was persecuted, just like Navalny was persecuted. Where the hell does this comes from,” Biden said, according to a White House pool report. “If I stood here 10 to 15 years ago and said all this, you’d all think I should be committed.”

On Thursday, Biden met with Navalny’s wife, Yulia, and daughter, Dasha. His administration is expected to announce “major sanctions” against Russia on Friday, which coincides with the two-year anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

At her Thursday rally in South Carolina, Haley, the former governor of the state, continued to make her case for why Republicans would be better served in the November election without Trump at the top of the ticket. She pointed out that Republicans have lost successive elections both during and after Trump’s presidency, and that they haven’t had much success recently, either.

“Donald Trump has lost his immunity; he’s going to be tried as citizen Trump,” she said, of a recent court ruling denying his claim of immunity from prosecution. “Republicans lost the vote on [impeaching Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro] Mayorkas, Republicans lost the vote on Israel [aid funding], the RNC chair lost her job — and he had his finger prints in all of that.”

She added: “How much more do we have to lose?”

The crowd at Haley’s rally on Thursday at an upscale hotel north of Charleston consisted mostly of Republicans who were tired of Trump and who believed he was taking their party in an ugly direction.

But one man who came to see Haley speak, Henry Moore, of Georgetown, said he fully backed Trump, dismissing his legal troubles and his role in inciting the Jan. 6 insurrection.

“She would be a really good president. I don’t think she can make it but I’m supporting,” Moore, a 75-year-old retiree, told HuffPost.

“He’s an asshole when he talks, nobody likes the way he talks to people,” he added of Trump, “but I think they will vote for him if Nikki can’t make it.”

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