Haley accuses Trump of siding with a ‘dictator and a tyrant’ as she blasts him over lack of Putin criticism
NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. – Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley is turning up the volume in her attacks on rival Donald Trump over the former president’s hesitance to criticize Russian leader Vladimir Putin.
“Trump sided with an evil man over our allies who stood with us at 9/11,” the former two-term South Carolina governor who later served as U.N. ambassador in the Trump administration charged at a rally on Wednesday, as she pointed towards Putin.
And minutes later, in a Fox News Digital interview outside of her campaign bus in North Augusta, South Carolina, Haley stressed “I can’t comprehend in any world where a candidate for president would side with a dictator and a tyrant who kills his political opponents. Who arrests American journalists and holds them hostage. And who’s made no bones about the fact that he wants to destroy America.”
“That’s a total lack of moral clarity. And that’s what happens whenever he looks away from the teleprompter,” Haley claimed as she took verbal shots at Trump.
Haley started sharpening her blows against Trump last month, when she became the final rival standing against the former president – who is the commanding frontrunner in the GOP nomination race as he bids a third straight time for the White House.
For over a week, Haley’s been blasting Trump over the former president’s controversial comments that he would not stand in the way of Moscow if Putin attacked a NATO member country that failed to pay its full share of dues.
And following the death of a high-profile Russian opposition leader and political prisoner Alexi Navalny last week in a Siberian prison – which many across the globe are blaming on Putin – Haley slammed Trump for not speaking out.
Trump did bemoan Navalny’s death when asked about it by host Laura Ingraham during a Fox News town hall Tuesday in Greenville, South Carolina.
“Navalny — a very sad situation,” Trump said. “It’s a horrible thing.”
But Trump doubled down on comparing his criminal indictments to the circumstances surrounding Navalny.
“It’s happening in our country, too,” Trump argued, as he pointed to his slew of court cases, including two stemming from his efforts to reverse his 2020 election loss to President Biden.
Trump charged that the U.S. is “turning into a communist country in many ways.”
But the former president didn’t mention Putin in connection with Navalny’s death.
Asked about those comments, Haley told Fox News Digital that, “You talk about Navalny, you should be talking about what a hero he is. You should be talking about what a thug Putin is. But the thing, what does Donald Trump do – he goes and compares himself to Navalny, based on his court cases. Everything becomes about Trump. Everything. He’s obsessed with himself. I need a president who’s going to be obsessed with the American people. He seems incapable of doing that.”
Trump, touting his tough stance against the Russian leader, reiterated at the town hall that “Putin took land from every president of our last five except the one – me.”
But Trump has a history dating back to his years in the White House of occasionally complimenting Putin. And his latest comments come as Republicans in the House of Representatives have refused to provide more military funding to Ukraine in its two-year-long war with Russia.