Wed. Apr 17th, 2024

GOP presidential hopeful Nikki Haley panned Donald Trump’s past praise for dictators and terrorist groups like Hezbollah during an address at the Republican Jewish Coalition annual summit Saturday.

Unlike most of her other 2024 rivals, Haley, who served as his US ambassador to the United Nations from 2017 to 2018, called him out by name during the GOP gathering.

She launched a clear rebuke of Trump recent comments critical of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for not being “not prepared” for the Oct. 7 massacre, comments that appeared to be driven by animosity over his contention that Netanyahu was disloyal to him by congratulating President Biden on his 2020 win.

Trump also called the fellow anti-Israeli Iranian-backed Lebanese group Hezbollah — designated as terrorists by the US — “very smart.” His campaign later clarified that “smart does not equal good.”

“As president, I will not compliment Hezbollah. Nor will I criticize Israel’s prime minister in the middle of tragedy and war,” Haley vowed. “I will also not compliment Chinese Communist President Xi. Nor will I call North Korea’s Kim Jong Un my friend.”

“These are not good or smart people,” she went on. “They want us to stay divided, distracted, and morally confused.”

GOP presidential hopeful Nikki Haley ripped Donald Trump during an address at the Republican Jewish Coalition annual summit
GOP presidential hopeful Nikki Haley panned Donald Trump’s past praise for dictators.AFP/Getty Images

“History will record that Donald Trump was a pro-Israel president,” she said, rattling through his achievements such as the Abraham Accords. “But as Americans, we need to ask a critical question. We all know what Trump did in the past. The question is… what will he do in the future?”

Haley, who has been on a steady rise in recent GOP polling having recently jumped into third place, underscored that “we are living through the most dangerous period in our lifetimes.”

“The stakes couldn’t be higher. And given those stakes, we cannot have four years of chaos, vendettas, and drama,” she added in a jab at her old boss.

Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin shake hands as they hold a joint news conference after their meeting in Helsinki, Finland, July 16, 2018.REUTERS
Donald Trump shakes hands with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on June 30, 2019.via REUTERS

The 51-year-old former South Carolina governor also affirmed her support for Israel in its efforts to combat Hamas, in the wake of the Oct. 7 deadly surprise attack.

She said the US should be “giving Israel everything she needs to destroy Hamas – once and for all.”

At least 33 Americans have been killed in Israel, per the State Department.

Trump used his address at the Republican Jewish Coalition summit to sharply warn terrorist groups against attack Americans.

Donald Trump has shrugged off criticism of being too cozy with dictators, arguing that he wants to get along with everybody on the world stage.Brian Prahl /

“When I am back in the White House, our enemies will once again realize that ‘if you spill a drop of American blood, we will spill a gallon of yours,’” Trump pledged during his speech.

Haley has previously juxtaposed herself with Trump on foreign policy, blasting his “friendliness” with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

Trump is the commanding GOP frontrunner with 59.1% support nationally while Haley is in a distance third behind Ron DeSantis at 8.3%, per the latest RealClearPolitics aggregate of polling.

Nevada’s caucus is the third 2024 GOP presidential contest and is slated to take place on Feb. 8, 2024.

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