(USA Features) Former UN ambassador and South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley praised former President Donald Trump on Thursday during a speech to conservative women in Phoenix while remaining silent on a potential GOP presidential bid in 2024.
Haley told guests that her tenure with Trump, who still dominates the party, was one of collaboration, the Arizona Republic reported.
She said that when his 2016 transition team offered her the job of being the country’s top United Nations diplomat, she only took the job after receiving assurances that she would have direct access to him, input on policy, and be free to speak her mind.
“He said, ‘Nikki, that’s exactly why I want you to do this,'” she said. “He was true to his word from the first day until the last day. We had a great working relationship.
“When he wanted to do something and it was good, I supported it. I rallied. I got out there, I helped him, I did everything I could,” she added. “When he was doing something I thought was wrong, I met with him or called him.”
Earlier this year in an interview with Politico, Haley appeared to blame Trump for the Jan. 6 riots and criticized him for failing to concede the election to Joe Biden earlier.
“He went down a path he shouldn’t have,” Haley told Politico. “And we shouldn’t have followed him, and we shouldn’t have listened to him. And we can’t let that ever happen again.”
“His actions since Election Day will be judged harshly by history,” she told Republicans gathered in Florida the following day after the riot.
As for her 2024 plans, Haley did not address them but instead indicated she wants to help her party regain control of Congress.
“What you will see me do is fight to win ’22. That’s what matters. That’s what I care about,” she told about 120 women outside a residence in Arcadia, the paper reported.
“I want us to win the House back. It’s only six seats. We can do that,” she said. “The Senate is going to be tougher. There’s going to be a big one here in Arizona. You’ll see me coming back for that Senate seat again because it’s extremely important.”
Democratic Sen. Mark Kelly, who defeated incumbent GOP Sen. Martha McSally last year in what was a special election, will face voters again in 2022.