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Haley Campaign Press Release - PolitiFact: DeSantis Attack on Nikki Rated FALSE... AGAIN

October 20, 2023

By: Amy Sherman
Online here

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and his campaign have accused competitor Nikki Haley, his Republican presidential nomination competitor, of laying the welcome mat for Gaza refugees.

"Nikki Haley argues in support of bringing Gaza refugees to America," the pro-DeSantis PAC Never Back Down posted Oct. 16 on X.

The post showed a clip of Haley's Oct. 15 interview with CNN's Jake Tapper. We watched the interview and found that Haley, former South Carolina governor and United Nations ambassador, did not call for bringing refugees from Gaza to the United States.

The entire Republican primary field has said the U.S. should support Israel in the war with Hamas. But after Hamas, a Palestinian militant group, attacked Israel on Oct. 7, DeSantis distanced his position from Haley's.

DeSantis has said he does not want the U.S. to take refugees from Gaza. But we found no evidence that Haley does, either.

Political spats aside, whether the U.S. accepts refugees from Gaza is hypothetical so far. Palestinians in Gaza generally couldn't leave the area as of mid-October because it was sealed off, and even if they could, the U.S. process for granting refugee status is difficult and can take years. Haley did not call for the U.S. to take in refugees from Gaza on CNN

Haley's full interview showed she does not view all people in Gaza as Hamas supporters, but she did not say whether any refugees should come to the U.S.

"Do you think the U.S., Israel, Egypt needs to be doing more to help these innocent Palestinian civilians get out of harm's way?" Tapper asked Haley.

"We should care about the Palestinian citizens, especially the innocent ones, because they didn't ask for this," Haley said during her response. "But where are the Arab countries? Where are they? Where is Qatar? Where is Lebanon? Where is Jordan? Where is Egypt? Do you know we give Egypt over a billion dollars a year? Why aren't they opening the gates? Why aren't they taking the Palestinians?

"You know why? Because they know they can't vet them, and they don't want Hamas in their neighborhood. So, why would Israel want them in their neighborhood? So, let's be honest with what's going on. The Arab countries aren't doing anything to help the Palestinians because they don't trust who is right, who is good, who is evil, and they don't want it in their country." ...

Our ruling:

The Never Back Down PAC wrote Oct. 16 on X, "Nikki Haley argues in support of bringing Gaza refugees to America."

The PAC's post linked to a clip of Haley's CNN interview in which she said many people in Gaza want to be free of terrorist rule. "America's always been sympathetic to the fact that you can separate civilians from terrorists," Haley said. "And that's what we have to do."

Her comment about distinguishing civilians from terrorists is not akin to inviting refugees from Gaza to enter the U.S. And when Tapper asked her whether the U.S. and other countries should help the civilians, Haley said we should care about "the innocent Palestinian citizens." But she also asked why Arab countries were not taking in people from Gaza. The reason, she said, was that other countries "know they can't vet them, and they don't want Hamas in their neighborhood."

Haley did not say in the interview whether the U.S. should accept refugees from Gaza.

We rate this statement False.

Nikki Haley, Haley Campaign Press Release - PolitiFact: DeSantis Attack on Nikki Rated FALSE... AGAIN Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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