NBC Host Presses Nikki Haley Over Flip-Flopping On Challenging Trump

[Screenshot/Rumble/NBC News]

Nicole Silverio Media Reporter
Font Size:

NBC News’ Craig Melvin pressed Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley about flip-flopping on her decision to challenge former President Donald Trump in the 2024 race.

Haley repeatedly affirmed she would not launch a presidential bid in 2024 if Trump decided to run. She then announced her presidential bid Tuesday despite the former president having announced his candidacy in November, citing the rise in inflation, the Afghan withdrawal and the results of the midterm elections among her reasons for launching a campaign.

“You said that if former President Trump was going to run, you wouldn’t run. It’s been reported that a couple weeks ago, you called your former boss, you asked for his blessing to run, and he said that you called him the greatest president. If that’s true, then why run against him?” Melvin asked.

“I’m gonna keep that phone call personal. I didn’t ask, I told [him] that I thought we needed to go in a new direction,” Haley said. “But when I first said I wouldn’t run against him, Afghanistan hadn’t fallen, we didn’t see the rise in inflation like we’ve seen, we didn’t see what was happening in our schools the way it was, and we didn’t see the results of the midterms that we just had. It is time for a new generation of leaders. You shouldn’t have to be 80 years old to get to Washington, and we’ve got to start righting the ship. We need new blood, because we have some serious challenges.”

Melvin quoted Haley previously saying Trump is needed to get strong candidates elected, and pointed to her condemnation of the January 6 riot. (RELATED: Alyssa Farah Griffin Defends Nikki Haley Against Her Fellow Co-Hosts On ‘The View’)

“So he can be partially responsible for the insurrection, but still be a central part of the party?” Melvin said.

“I have said January 6 was a terrible day,” Haley responded. “I criticized him for that, and I stand by that criticism. I have said he was a good president in the way that he lifted up so many people economically and he did real good in this country. That can be true, too. When I see something right, I praise it. When I see something wrong, I criticize it.”

The anchor also pressed Haley on Trump’s claims that the 2020 presidential election was fraudulent, and denied that 61% of Republicans believe the election fraud claims. The Republican candidate called for voter identification to prevent fraudulent elections, and assured that President Joe Biden truly won the presidential race.

Trump told Haley to “follow her heart” and wished her luck in a statement Wednesday, while also highlighting how Haley flip-flopped on her decision to launch a campaign.