Nikki Haley confronts Donald Trump at her South Carolina home
Lashing out at Trump for his virtual invitation to Russia to invade frontline NATO countries with comments that have inflamed traditional Washington foreign policy experts, Haley’s comments showed that Trump “lacks moral clarity” and “should provoke a chill down everyone’s spine.”
“It’s the kind of comment that makes Joe Biden seem lucid,” Haley said in an oblique reference to a Justice Department report that referred to the president as an “old man with a bad memory.” Haley’s campaign for the Republican presidential nomination has seen her attack both men on the grounds of age and mental acuity.
Meanwhile, Biden defended Haley against Trump’s crude suggestion that her husband, Michael Haley, who serves in the US National Guard in the Horn of Africa, had abandoned her over an alleged affair.
“The answer is that Major Haley is overseas, serving his country right now… We know Trump thinks our troops are ‘dumb,’ but this guy wouldn’t acknowledge service to his country if he got slapped.” “. Biden said.
Haley also continued to attack Trump for avoiding military service, telling Politico magazine: “Military families go through a lot. And the fact that Donald Trump has never even been close to a military uniform, that he’s never had that experience, who has never known what it’s like, he says to show why he continues to call them fools and losers.
“I’ve talked for a long time about the fact that we need to have mental competency testing for anyone over the age of 75. Donald Trump claims that he would approve them; Maybe he would approve, maybe he wouldn’t. But if you mock a combat veteran’s service, you don’t deserve a driver’s license, much less be president of the United States,” Haley said at a rally.
Trump’s comments, widely seen as inflammatory, do not appear to have cost him any support among his MAGA faithful. Even top Republicans who have been hawks on foreign policy in the past muted any criticism of her provocative comments on NATO, a stance that infuriated Haley, who served as the Trump White House’s ambassador to the UN.
“Why is there silence from the Republican Party? Where is everyone? Where are the Republicans standing up for our men and women in uniform who sacrifice for us and protect our country?” she asked.
Some polls show Haley leading Biden in the general election, but to get there she will have to beat Trump for the Republican nomination, showing Trump well ahead of her even in her home state of South Carolina, which will have its primary elections next week.
Haley has been in the race hoping that Trump will self-destruct with the kind of comments he made about NATO, but there are no signs that’s about to happen. Effectively, Trump has set the stage for reshaping US foreign policy if he wins a second term, even if it means Washington being seen as a “protection exploiter.”
In fact, some foreign policy experts have used that exact term to describe Trump’s approach. “This is crazy. And 8 years later, Trump proves that he STILL doesn’t understand how NATO works! It’s not a protection business. They don’t pay us to protect them,” former US ambassador to Russia Michael said on Twitter McFaul. .
Experts have questioned Trump’s claim that NATO members must spend 2 percent of their GDP on defense, saying it was just a guideline. Trump has repeatedly claimed that several countries were behind on their obligations, were “taking the United States for a ride” and got them to come up with the money after taking office by threatening them not to do so. defend them if Russia attacked.
He has also threatened to withdraw from NATO, calling it “obsolete” and a drain on American resources, views also echoed by Moscow.