COLUMBIA, S.C. — Former South Carolina Governor and U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley is criticizing former President Donald Trump over his response to the Capitol riot, saying she was "disgusted" by some of what he did.
Haley comments came in an extended interview with Politico about her upbringing, her reaction to recent events, her possible political events, and her political future. (Most expect her to make a run for President in 2024.
She said has not spoken to Trump since before the Capitol riot on January 6.
Haley said she began to grow concerned during the speech, beginning with remarks made by the then president's son, Donald Trump Jr.
"I literally was so triggered, I had to turn it off," Haley said. "Someone is going to hear that, and bad things will happen."
In the interview, Haley said she was deeply troubled by the former president's treatment of former Vice-President Mike Pence. Trump tweeted on that day of the riot that his White House partner was wrong for not challenging the election certification, which technically he had no Constitutional authority to do.
"Mike has been nothing but loyal to that man," she said. "I am so disappointed in the fact that [despite the loyalty and friendship he had with Mike Pence, that he would do that to him. Like, I'm disgusted by it."
Despite her comments, however, she remains staunchly opposed to impeachment, calling it a "waste of time." She's said before she thinks Democrats have always been out to get the former president.
She said she believes the penalty Trump will suffer will be further isolation and the damage to his business empire. She also said the loss of a platform on social media would be hurtful to him.
She does not think he will run for federal office again. "I don't think he can. He's fallen so far."
"We need to acknowledge he let us down," she said. "He went down a path he shouldn't have, and we shouldn't have followed him, and we shouldn't have listened to him. And we can't let that ever happen again."
When asked why she, who had a direct channel to the president, didn't try to convince him that the election wasn't stolen before the riot, she said she felt he had a right to question the results, because she said he truly believed he'd been wronged. But she said she's seen a change in him since the election.
"The person that I worked with is not the person that I have watched since the election.”
She said she doesn't expect a lot of Republicans to lose their affection for Trump, and she also doesn't want to see the GOP return to the way before he took over the party in 2016.
"I think what we need to do is take the good that he built, leave the bad that he did, and get back to a place where we can be a good, valuable, effective party. But at the same time, it’s bigger than the party. I hope our country can come together and figure out how we pull this back.”