Today’s Campaign Update
(Because The Campaign Never Ends)
Tired of all this #WINNING yet? Yeah, neither am I. – For what seems like the 16,000th time during President Donald Trump’s term in office, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at yet another record high on Monday, as the Trump economy just keeps roaring along. Democrats and fake journalists everywhere were doubling up on their depression meds as the markets closed.
When Nikki Haley speaks, people listen. – When people start surveying the GOP landscape post-Trump, whether that comes in January after being removed from the the presidency by the Senate (which is not likely to happen), in January 2021 after a loss in the 2020 election (also not in the cards) or in January 2025 following the completion of his second term in office (bingo!), the survey inevitably lands to the name of Nikki Haley as one of his most likely successors.
Other names also arise, of course: Names like Mike Pence and Mike Pompeo and Ted Cruz, and the less obvious names like Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and Ohio Congressman Jim Jordan and even Texas Congressman Dan Crenshaw. Lindsey Graham, with his thrice-weekly appearances on one Fox News evening program or another, is obviously angling for another run at the gig, as are Rand Paul and even Kanye West. But inevitably, the name of Nikki Haley always comes up.
She is, after all, a former successful governor of South Carolina, and a person who, after not really being on board with the Trump Train during the 2016 campaign, created a very high profile for herself as Trump’s very loyal, very aggressive and very outspoken UN Ambassador. Although her record as Governor was decidedly mixed from a conservative perspective, perhaps more than any of Trump’s cabinet-level officials, Haley has stood out as the most aggressive advocate for his international policies.
Thus it is that anything she has to say about the goings-on inside White House during her two-year tenure is given a lot of weight by most Trump supporters. In a Sunday interview with Kelly O’Donnell of CBS, Haley basically accused both then-Chief of Staff John Kelly and then-Secretary of State Rex Tillerson of rank insubordination, even though she said they claimed that was not their intent.
Here’s the key outtake:
Haley recounts a closed-door encounter with then-White House Chief of Staff John Kelly and then-Secretary of State Rex Tillerson: “Kelly and Tillerson confided in me that when they resisted the president, they weren’t being insubordinate, they were trying to save the country … Tillerson went on to tell me the reason he resisted the president’s decisions was because, if he didn’t, people would die. This was how high the stakes were, he and Kelly told me. We are doing the best we can do to save the country, they said. We need you to work with us and help us do it. This went on for over an hour.”
O’Donnell asked, “You memorialized that conversation? It definitely happened?”
“It absolutely happened,” said Haley. “And instead of saying that to me, they should’ve been saying that to the president, not asking me to join them on their sidebar plan. It should’ve been, ‘Go tell the president what your differences are, and quit if you don’t like what he’s doing.’ But to undermine a president is really a very dangerous thing. And it goes against the Constitution, and it goes against what the American people want. And it was offensive.”
[We asked them to respond. John Kelly tells “Sunday Morning”: “If by resistance and stalling she means putting a staff process in place … to ensure the (president) knew all the pros and cons of what policy decision he might be contemplating so he could make an informed decision, then guilty as charged.”]
Undermining a president from the inside is indeed a very dangerous thing, as Haley notes, and her accusation against Kelly and Tillerson rings true given everything else we know about the two men and their behavior while serving in those positions. Tillerson repeatedly made his personal disdain for the President and his lack of support for Trump policies related to North Korea, China and other parts of the world very clear while serving as SOS, which is the main reason why his tenure in the office was so short. Kelly’s first move after moving into his Chief of Staff role was not to go after the myriad leakers inside the White House, but rather to cut the President off from his most loyal supporters and start to systematically force them out of their jobs.
Rumors have run rampant for more than two years now that both men were willing participants in the mid-2017 plot to dummy up a rationale for removing Trump from office under the 25th Amendment, a plot we know beyond any reasonable doubt that Rod Rosenstein was a part of. If you believe in the whole “where there’s smoke there’s fire” paradigm, it seems extremely likely that those persistent rumors must have some basis in reality.
If Haley’s contention about the approach by Tillerson and Kelly is accurate – and there is little reason to believe that it is not – then it would be consistent with a move that would be made as a part of a larger 25th amendment effort targeting the President. Haley’s contention here, and cryptic use of the term “sidebar plan,” is troubling in the extreme, and Tillerson’s refusal to even respond to it does not reflect well on him. Kelly’s response, which does not in any way address the accusation, may be even worse.
As mentioned earlier, Haley’s interview – promoting her new book – is also a not-so-subtle attempt to keep herself in the public eye, ready to quickly move in the unlikely event of Trump’s actual removal by the Senate. The following passage reveals that part of her personal agenda:
Haley insists she has no immediate plans to run for any office, including the presidency, and as she departed the Trump administration last year she said, “I can promise you what I’ll be doing is campaigning for this one.”
She told O’Donnell, “A year is a long time in politics. It really is a lifetime in politics. And so, I think what’s best for me is take it a year at a time and see what happens.”
With her new book, lucrative speaking engagements, and a seat on the corporate board of Boeing, Nikki Haley acknowledges there are still chapters to be written: “I’m too young to stop fighting. I’ll always be out there. I’ll always use the power of my voice for what I believe is good.”
So, whether the jumping off point becomes early 2020, early 2021 or the 2024 election campaign, you can be sure that Nikki Haley will be vying to become the face of the GOP in the wake of the Trump presidency. Lining herself up as this President’s most loyal and vocal supporter helps her cause immensely.
That is all.
Today’s news moves at a faster pace than ever. Whatfinger.com is my go-to source for keeping up with all the latest events in real time.