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Haley Campaign Press Release - Haley on CNN: Trump is Emboldening Putin

February 16, 2024

SAN ANTONIO, Texas – Tonight, Nikki Haley joined CNN's Kaitlan Collins to discuss Donald Trump's weakness on Russia.

Trump's weakness on Russia…

"Absolutely. I mean, all you have to do is look at his track record. I mean, this is a man who's known to kill his political opponents. We saw him do this with the Skripals in the United Kingdom a few years back when I was at the United Nations. And honestly Kaitlan, that's what was so disturbing about what Donald Trump said in his rally in Conway, South Carolina a week ago, was that he said that he would side with Putin and not defend NATO allies if they weren't pulling their weight. But he went even further than that, and he said that he would encourage Putin to invade any countries not pulling their weight. That means Donald Trump is siding with a thug. Who kills his political opponents. He's siding with someone who has made no bones about wanting to destroy America. He's siding with someone who arrests American journalists and holds them hostage. And he's siding with a dictator instead of siding with our allies who stood with us at 9/11. That's the problem. But this is exactly the Russia I know. I dealt with them every day at the United Nations. It is a brutal dictatorship. Navalny was a hero. He was trying to call out corruption. He was trying to call out what Putin did. The fact that he returned back to Russia was nothing short of just amazingly courageous. But he was trying to make a point. And what Putin was doing was trying to make a point in front of the next Russian elections to everybody not to speak up against him. It's a sad day."

Trump's refusal to call out dictators…

"The problem is anybody that can't call out a dictator, that's a problem. He should be calling, not just calling Putin out for what happened to Navalny, he should be calling Putin out for the fact that he's got Evan Gershkovich as a hostage. He should be calling Putin out for invading Ukraine. He should be calling Putin out for the fact that now they are surrounding the Baltics and Putin's getting ready for his next act. When he said that that day, it emboldened Putin. And what we're seeing is Putin's emboldened by Biden because he senses weakness, he doesn't see any sort of resistance and that's why he invaded Ukraine. And he's emboldened by Trump because Trump is not willing to stand up for our allies. Both of those are dangerous. And I can promise you this, Putin would not be doing that if I were president."

On Trump making the RNC his "piggy bank" for his legal fees…

"I don't want the RNC to become his legal defense fund. I don't want the RNC to become his piggy bank for his personal court cases. We've already seen him spend $50 million worth of campaign contributions towards his personal court cases. Now we see him trying to get control of the RNC, so that he can continue not to have to pay his own legal fees. The problem is that doesn't help us win any seats in the House, in the Senate, or anything else if the RNC is all focused on his legal fees… I am most concerned about is now he's gone and taken someone from North Carolina. He's made the co-chair his daughter-in-law. He's made his campaign manager the director of operations. He's trying to control the RNC after the fact that he tried to get me out of the race so that he could be the presumptive nominee. All of that is so that he has an arm to pay his legal fees."

Nikki Haley, Haley Campaign Press Release - Haley on CNN: Trump is Emboldening Putin Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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