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Haley praises Trump CPAC speech after breaking with him over Capitol riot
Former United States Ambassador the the United Nations Nikki Haley on Monday praised former President Trump over his speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) the day before, after sharply criticizing him last month for his rhetoric and actions ahead of the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol.
"Strong speech by President Trump about the winning policies of his administration and what the party needs to unite behind moving forward. The liberal media wants a GOP civil war. Not gonna happen," Haley wrote on Twitter.
The former South Carolina governor, seen as a potential 2024 presidential contender, has taken a cautious approach to Trump since the deadly Capitol breach, both condemning his involvement in the rally that preceded the riot while also praising his presidency.
"We need to acknowledge he let us down. 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," Haley told Politico in a February interview.
She was particularly critical of Trump's remarks at the Jan. 6 "Stop the Steal" rally in which he went after his own vice president, calling on him to stop Congress's certification of President Biden's Electoral College victory.
"When I tell you I'm angry, it's an understatement," Haley said. "I am so disappointed in the fact that [despite] the loyalty and friendship he had with Mike Pence, that he would do that to him. Like, I'm disgusted by it."
Haley, who has taken flak from pro-Trump Republicans over the interview, did not speak at CPAC this year, though she has done so multiple times in the past.
Her Monday tweet echoes comments she made in a Wall Street Journal op-ed in the wake of her Politico interview last month, in which she argued the media was seeking to instigate a civil war in the GOP.
"We can't go back to the pre-Trump GOP. Those days are over, and they should be," Haley wrote in her opinion piece.
"I will gladly defend the bulk of the Trump record and his determination to shake up the corrupt status quo in Washington," she continued. "I will never defend the indefensible. I didn't do that when I served alongside President Trump, and I'm not going to start now."
Trump teased but did not announce a 2024 presidential bid of his own at CPAC, as well as again repeating his false claims that he actually won the November election.