Nikki Haley maintained that former President Trump was truthful and entirely fit for office during her tenure as his UN ambassador before flipping after the Capitol riot. Trump "lost any sort of political viability," she said earlier this year. "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." That was not at all her tone on Thursday, however. Speaking in front of a crowd of 500 at the Iowa Republican Party's Lincoln Dinner, Haley praised Trump yet again, saying she "saw firsthand as ambassador to the United Nations that Donald Trump put America first." She also stated his "Little Rocket Man" nickname for North Korean leader Kim Jong Un showed Trump had "a way of getting people."
"Thank goodness for Donald Trump, or we never would have gotten Kamala Harris to the border," Haley "poked," per Politico, alluding to the vice president's Friday visit to the US-Mexico border ahead of Trump's planned visit on June 30. Haley also blasted Democrats' "socialist" agenda and criticized President Biden as "weak" on China. This comes as the former South Carolina governor considers a potential 2024 presidential run, though she said in April that she would step back and support Trump if he decided to run again—another deviation from her earlier claim that his political life was finished. CNN notes her criticism of Trump has complicated "her ability to win the allegiance of Trump's base voters if she decides to run." For now, Haley says she's only focused on electing a "conservative force" to Congress in the 2022 midterm elections. (Read more Nikki Haley stories.)