- Nikki Haley told Politico that former President Donald Trump “genuinely” believes the 2020 presidential election was rigged.
- She compared his refusal to accept his loss to a colorblind person believing grass is blue.
- “There’s nothing that you’re ever going to do that’s going to make him feel like he legitimately lost the election,” she said.
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Nikki Haley, a former US ambassador to the United Nations, insisted that former President Donald Trump “genuinely” believes the 2020 presidential election was rigged and compared his refusal to accept his own loss to a physical disability.
“I understand the president. I understand that genuinely, to his core, he believes he was wronged. This is not him making it up,” Haley told Politico’s Tim Alberta during an interview in mid-December that was published Friday.
When Alberta asked Haley if Trump was being “responsible” with his power by spreading lies about the election, Alberta compared Trump’s false claims to a colorblind person believing grass was blue.
“That would be like you saying that grass is blue and you genuinely believing it. Is it irresponsible that you’re colorblind and you truly believe that?” 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.”
The former Republican governor of South Carolina and a likely 2024 presidential contender, Haley said she spoke with Trump after the election and declined to challenge his belief that he’d won. But she criticised Trump’s advisers for not telling him the “truth” about the election and refused to put any blame on the president himself.
In December, Haley predicted that Trump would privately accept his electoral defeat after the last of his major legal challenges failed. Instead, Trump continued spreading lies and incited his loyalists to storm the Capitol on January 6.
In a follow-up interview with Alberta on January 12, Haley said she was “deeply disturbed by what’s happened to [Trump]” and “disgusted” by his attacks on former Vice President Mike Pence.
“We need to acknowledge he let us down,” she said. “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.”
Haley called Trump’s second impeachment “a waste of time” and argued that Trump won’t run for federal office again because he’s “fallen so far” since the Capitol siege and is increasingly isolated without access to the bully pulpits of the White House and his social media accounts.