Although she has been an ally of the ex-president, former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley publicly split with Donald Trump this week.
In a new Politico interview, the former South Carolina governor asserted that Trump “let us down” and that the Republican Party “can’t let that ever happen again.”
“Judged harshly by history”
The remarks came amid an ongoing U.S. Senate impeachment trial against the former president as Democratic House managers attempted to make the case that he incited a riot on Capitol Hill last month.
“We need to acknowledge he let us down,” Haley said. “He went down a path he shouldn’t have, and we should have followed him, and we shouldn’t have listened to him. And we can’t let that ever happen again.”
Specifically referencing the Jan. 6 breach of the Capitol building, she faulted Trump for his fiery political rhetoric during a rally in D.C. earlier in the day.
This was not the first time Haley has publicly criticized the remarks. During an address before the Republican National Committee, Haley insisted that it “wasn’t just his words” that presented a serious problem.
“His actions since Election Day will be judged harshly by history,” she said at the time, according to The Hill.
“A good, valuable, effective party”
Haley is widely seen as a likely contender for the GOP presidential nomination in 2024. If she does mount such a White House bid, even she acknowledges that her break with Trump is unlikely to help her among Republican voters.
“I know how much people love Donald Trump,” she said in the recent interview, as The Hill reported. “I know it. I feel it. 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.”
Furthermore, she predicted that the favorable sentiment toward the former president is “not going to just fall to the wayside” and that the GOP is not “going to go back to the way it was before Donald Trump.”
Nevertheless, she indicated a belief that the former president is not “going to be in the picture” going forward — at least not with the level of influence he currently has over the party — because he has “fallen so far” due to the aftermath of the Capitol riot, she said, according to Breitbart.
Instead, she advised her party to “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.”