Turf battle erupts in SC after Trump questions Haley’s husband’s military service
The former South Carolina governor responded furiously to the mocking speech as the former president further ignited controversy over commitment to NATO.
Donald Trump took the battle for the Republican nomination to Nikki Haley’s home turf Saturday — and the former South Carolina governor was up for the fight.
The former president hurled personal attacks at Haley throughout an afternoon Get Out The Vote rally at Coastal Carolina University in Conway, most notably questioning the whereabouts of her husband, Maj. Michael Haley, who is serving an active duty deployment in the Horn of Africa for the South Carolina Army National Guard.
“Where’s her husband? Oh, he’s away. He’s away,” Trump said, appearing to imply Haley was having challenges in her marriage that would explain her husband’s absence. “What happened to her husband? Where is he? He’s gone.”
At her separate rally in Gilbert, South Carolina, Haley addressed Trump’s comments head on, and again challenged the former president to a debate.
“I need to start with the fact that Donald Trump had a rally today, and in that rally, he mocked my husband’s military service,” she began.
“I have long talked about the fact that we need to have mental competency tests for anyone over the age of 75. Donald Trump claims that he would pass that — maybe he would, maybe he wouldn’t. But if you mock the service of a combat veteran, you don’t deserve a driver’s license, let alone being President of the United States.”
Haley’s husband also responded with a post on X, formerly known as Twitter, showing a photo of a wolf: “The difference between humans and animals? Animals would never allow the dumbest ones to lead the pack.”
Also during his Saturday rally, Trump ramped up his attacks on NATO, saying that he would urge Russia to do “whatever the hell they want” to any member country that doesn’t, in his view, spend enough on their own defense.
“One of the presidents of a big country stood up and said, ‘Well, sir, if we don’t pay and we’re attacked by Russia, will you protect us?,’” Trump said during the rally. “I said, ‘You didn’t pay. You’re delinquent.’ He said, ‘Yes, let’s say that happened.’ No, I would not protect you. In fact, I would encourage them to do whatever the hell they want.”
The White House seized on these remarks, blasting them as “appalling and unhinged.”
“Encouraging invasions of our closest allies by murderous regimes is appalling and unhinged — and it endangers American national security, global stability, and our economy at home,” White House spokesperson Andrew Bates said in a statement.
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