Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley argued in an interview with Fox News’ Sean Hannity on Wednesday that former President Donald Trump won’t be able to win the 2024 election due to his legal troubles.
Haley’s comments came after the first GOP presidential debate Wednesday evening in Milwaukee where she was among the only candidates to say the Republican Party couldn’t defeat President Biden with Trump as its nominee. While the former United Nations ambassador said she was mostly aligned with Trump on policies, his ongoing court cases would get in the way of his campaign next year.
“What I do believe is you’re going to have Donald Trump spend more time in a courtroom next year — not through anything outside of they’re weaponizing government against him — but he’s going to spend more time in a courtroom than he is campaigning,” Haley told Hannity during the interview.
“I served with him, I was proud to serve with him, I agree with him on most issues and he’s my friend,” Haley continued. “But the reality is we cannot afford Joe Biden.”
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Republican presidential candidate and former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley speaks during the first 2023 Republican presidential debate Wednesday. (Mike De Sisti-USA TODAY NETWORK)
Hannity then noted the findings of Special Counsel John Durham’s recent report that the FBI mistreated Trump and that the infamous Steele dossier couldn’t be proven. He then asked Haley if she believed all charges against Trump are political and whether they were the result of the weaponization of the U.S. justice system.
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“It’s all political, it’s all weaponization — all of that,” Haley said. “But the fact remains: he’s got five court cases next year. He’s going to start the first one in the early part of January. He’s got another one in March.”
“It is why we have to win, because we have to make sure that this weaponization stops,” she continued. “It’s why we have to clean the Department of Justice, it’s why we have to clean house in both our intelligence agencies, it’s why this matters. We will use Donald Trump as the reason we’ve got to clean up Washington.”
Republican presidential candidates are pictured during the first GOP debate of the 2024 election cycle on Wednesday. (Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
“But you can’t clean up Washington if Donald Trump is fighting issues of the past. We need a young generational conservative that’s going to go and clean up what they’ve done to Donald Trump but also carry our country forward.”
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During the debate earlier in the evening, Haley joined six of seven other candidates on stage in pledging to support Trump if he is the nominee and is convicted of wrongdoing.
Trump faces multiple cases nationwide in connection to his handling of classified documents and actions surrounding the 2020 election. He is expected to turn himself in Thursday in connection with the most recent case in Georgia.