Nikki Haley: GOP Needs Trump Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley stands on stage in an empty Mellon Auditorium while addressing the Republican National Convention on Aug. 24, 2020, in Washington, D.C. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
By Charlie McCarthy | Tuesday, 05 October 2021 01:31 PM
Former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley said Tuesday she would consult with former President Donald Trump before beginning a run for the White House despite disagreeing with him about the outcome of the 2020 election, The Wall Street Journal reported.
Haley, a former South Carolina governor, was expected to discuss the Republican Party’s future during her appearance at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California, on Tuesday night.
Calling Trump a friend, Haley likely would "navigate around" the former president’s role in the GOP, the Journal reported.
"He has a strong legacy from his administration," Haley told the Journal. "He has the ability to get strong people elected, and he has the ability to move the ball, and I hope that he continues to do that. We need him in the Republican Party. I don’t want us to go back to the days before Trump."
Haley told the Journal that last year’s presidential election included "fraud … but I don’t think that the numbers were so big that it swayed the vote in the wrong direction."
Following the Jan. 6 attack at the U.S. Capitol, Haley criticized Trump and his supporters for blaming the election loss on election fraud in several battleground states.
"His actions since Election Day will be judged harshly by history," Haley said at the time. "It’s deeply disappointing."
In April, however, the 49-year-old Haley said she wouldn't embark on a 2024 bid if Trump decided to run.
The Journal said the former ambassador seemed "slightly less absolute" about that position Tuesday.
"In the beginning of 2023, should I decide that there's a place for me, should I decide that there's a reason to move, I would pick up the phone and meet with the president," she said. "I would talk to him and see what his plans are. I would tell him about my plans. We would work on it together."
Trump last month in an interview with Vanity Fair took a jab at his former U.N. ambassador.
''Well, every time she criticizes me, she uncriticizes me about 15 minutes later,'' Trump said. ''I guess she gets the base."
The Journal said Haley planned to tell the library crowd that the U.S. was suffering from the Biden administration's move away from the country's core values and traditions.
"A large portion of our people are plagued by self-doubt or even by hatred of America," Haley was expected to say, according to an advance copy of her speech shared with the Journal.
"It’s a pandemic much more damaging than any virus. Every day, more people think living in the land of the free is a curse, not a blessing."