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Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations and current presidential candidate Nikki Haley, appeared on Fox News’ The Story show(03/30/23), where she slammed Russia’s President Vladimir Putin, calling him “a mafia type dictator”, following the arrest of American journalist Evan Gershkovich (Wall Street Journal) in Russia, ostensibly on espionage charges.
Importantly, Haley also used the arrest of the American journalist to distinguish herself from former President Trump and other future GOP presidential nomination contenders regarding Putin/Russia.
Haley specifically told host Martha MacCallum re Putin(4:11): “This is a reminder to the American people. Whenever you doubt whether Ukraine needs to win, look at this Mafia type dictator, who basically does not value human life, and does not value freedom, this is another example of that.”
Asked directly about flattering statements former President Trump and other Republicans have made regarding Putin and his invasion of Ukraine, Haley responded(6:54): “This is a dictator and a thug. There wasn’t anything savvy about it [Russia/Ukraine war]. This was just a malicious move to go take over a freedom-loving country. That is why it is so important for us to remember we have to defend Ukraine. This is a war for freedom. This is one where the dictators and the thugs of the world are trying to move in and take over all freedom-loving countries…You are either with Putin and Xi, or you’re with freedom-loving countries…This is not the time to get weak in the knees on Russia.”
There’s no other way to interpret Haley’s remarks other than she is making it abundantly clear that she is diametrically opposed to former President Trump’s views on Vladimir Putin/Russia.
Bottom line folks, for a politician who has been credibly accused of waffling, or abandoning her long held principles following attacks by Trump, it was quite refreshing to see her going out of her way and setting the record straight on how she views Putin/Russia–a view, by the way, most Americans agree with. The only question now is whether Nikki Haley will stick to her views on Putin/Russia after a Trump “counterpunch”? As Trump famously says, “We’ll see what happens.”
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