Trump Proposes Sending Haley’s Spouse to Africa to Keep Him Away

Former President Donald J. Trump continued to express strong criticism towards Nikki Haley on Saturday. During a rally in South Carolina, he insinuated that her husband, who is a member of the National Guard, deployed in order to distance himself from her.

“What’s going on with her husband? Where did he go?” inquired Mr. Trump, addressing the crowd in Conway, S.C. “He’s gone,” he declared.

As he paused, he added with a suggestive tone, “He had knowledge. He was aware.”

In a significant escalation of his ongoing criticism towards Ms. Haley, Mr. Trump’s remarks, delivered in her home state merely two weeks before its Republican primary, aimed to undermine her chances of success in the race. While he has been consistently questioning Ms. Haley’s political positions and subtly insinuating that she does not possess the necessary temperament for the presidency, this is the first time he has resorted to direct personal attacks.

In his speech in South Carolina, Mr. Trump took it a step further by escalating his criticism of Ms. Haley. Without providing any explanation, he had been referring to her as “birdbrain” for months. However, this time, he went on to label her as “brain dead,” all while expressing his disapproval of her standing in the national polls.

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Ms. Haley’s campaign did not respond to a request for comment, but she took to X to address her husband’s absence from the campaign trail.

“Michael, who is currently deployed serving our country, is someone you clearly have no understanding of. It is unacceptable for someone who consistently disrespects the sacrifices made by military families to hold the position of commander in chief,” she emphasized.

Ms. Haley’s husband is currently serving on a voluntary year-long deployment in Africa since last June. He is stationed at Camp Lemonnier, a prominent military base in Djibouti. Mr. Trump’s comments come as right-wing media figures who support the former president are increasingly focusing on this issue.

Even though he is currently abroad, Mr. Haley has consistently supported Ms. Haley’s campaign. During her speeches, she frequently emphasizes his significance in her decision to run for office, highlighting his challenges upon returning from a war zone. She suggests that his experiences have greatly influenced her perspectives on foreign policy and immigration.

Last year, at a community center in Trainor, Iowa, she passionately expressed, “Other candidates have been making claims that I support war. Can you believe it? My husband serves in the military, and the last thing I want is for him to be involved in any conflict. My focus is on putting an end to war. It’s crucial that we constantly strive for peace.”

During interviews with voters in Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina, Mrs. Haley frequently garners support from individuals with loved ones serving in the military. Her genuine concern for their well-being and the emotional struggles of possibly never seeing them again resonates deeply with these voters. Retired military officers see her as a figure who can truly empathize with their unique challenges and understand their plight.

Both Mrs. Haley and Mr. Trump, to some extent, have experienced being separated from their spouses on the campaign trail. Melania Trump, the former First Lady, has not participated in Mr. Trump’s events and has not accompanied him during his legal proceedings.

During the campaign, Mr. Trump’s team implemented a tactic to isolate Mrs. Haley, the former governor of South Carolina, within her own state.

On Saturday, Mr. Trump reiterated that he had appointed her as an ambassador to the United Nations to pave the way for his lieutenant governor, Henry McMaster. This decision came after McMaster announced his campaign for the 2024 election and expressed his support for Mr. Trump.

As her chances of securing the Republican nomination have dwindled, Mrs. Haley has stepped up her criticism of Mr. Trump. She recently launched a scathing attack on him, citing a special counsel’s report and raising concerns about President Biden’s ability to handle classified documents. This indicates a significant shift in her stance towards Mr. Trump.

During her speech in South Carolina on Saturday, she reiterated her stance on urging Republicans not to dismiss the potential age and mental challenges of Mr. Trump without any evidence. She cautioned that they should be more aware of the situation, especially considering their desire to replace Democrat Mr. Biden. She emphasized the need for Republicans to “wake up,” emphasizing the significance of the issue.

In Washington, D.C., her campaign staff distributed mock mental fitness questionnaires implying that Mr. Trump and Mr. Biden would not pass. Mrs. Haley, when asked about it by reporters, stated that she had not taken the test but expressed her willingness to do so.

The Haley campaign took a clever approach by investing in a mobile billboard to make a statement in the Charleston area. The billboard showcased Haley’s programs while also including criticism of the former president.

Mr. Trump has consistently advocated for cognitive tests to be administered to presidential candidates, as part of his ongoing strategy to question Mr. Biden’s mental acuity.

During Saturday’s exchange, he retaliated against Mrs. Haley’s criticism by confidently stating, “Nikki will not pass the test. I don’t believe she will.”

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