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Nikki Haley has clearly gotten under Trump's skin despite his stranglehold on the race

Donald Trump and Nikki Haley
Former President Donald Trump and former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley.Peter Zay/Anadolu/Getty, Nikki Haley/AP, Tyler Le/BI
  • Donald Trump is clearly miffed that Nikki Haley won't drop out of the race.

  • Maggie Haberman said his New Hampshire speech was "the most scorched-earth victory speech" she'd seen.

  • Haley has stepped up attacks on Trump's age and basic competency.

Donald Trump is the first non-incumbent president to win the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primaries, contests he dominated by double-digit margins. Yet the former president appears to be miserable.

It's abundantly clear that his former UN ambassador Nikki Haley has gotten under his skin, even though Trump has the far easier path to the nomination — a growing chorus of national and state Republicans are calling him the party's presumptive nominee. Of course, she's choosing to extend her campaign. But Trump is clearly out for more than just the nomination now.

"I don't get too angry. I get even," he said Tuesday during his victory speech.

Instead of basking in his unprecedented winning streak, the former president spent Tuesday night grumbling about how Haley closed in on him in the Granite State. Since then, his anger has not dissipated.

"I knew Nikki well, she was average at best, is not the one to take on World Leaders, and she never did. That was up to me, and that is why they respected the United States," Trump wrote Wednesday night in a lengthy post on his social platform, Truth.

In the same message, Trump threatened that anyone who donated to Haley's campaign from now on "will be permanently barred from the MAGA camp."

"It was the most scorched-earth victory speech that I have ever seen," Maggie Haberman, a New York Times reporter and Trump biographer, said on CNN. "It was astonishing. You would have thought he lost based on the speech that he gave."

Trump is clearly irked over how Haley relied on non-Republican voters in New Hampshire, something he did in 2016. He also takes great offense to her knocks about his age and basic competency, something tailor-made to set him off.

Haley has a difficult path forward.

Months ago, her campaign chose not to contest the Nevada caucuses, meaning the next major face-off between the top two candidates won't occur until the February 24 South Carolina primary.

But this will be no ordinary homecoming for Haley, the state's former governor. Gov. Henry McMaster and almost the entire South Carolina congressional delegation have endorsed Trump. Polls show that the former president could pull off yet another double-digit victory. The race will likely get uglier in the monthlong slog before then.

If Haley makes it out of South Carolina, her campaign will need to rely on Trump's 2016 playbook of using open primaries, where non-Republicans can cast ballots in the race, to try to cut into the former president's delegate lead that, unless she finds some way to successfully stymie him, will only grow larger.

In the meantime, Haley is taking Trump's fuming in stride. After he threatened her donors, she responded on X: "Well in that case…donate here. Let's Go!" including a link to donate to her campaign.

Read the original article on Business Insider