Nikki Haley hits out at Mike Pompeo for ‘lies and gossip’ to sell books

Former South Carolina governor Nikki Haley hit back against claims by her ex-Trump administration colleague Mike Pompeo that she lobbied top White House officials to replace Mike Pence as vice president on the 2020 GOP ticket, dismissing them as false and suggesting the ex-Secretary of State was lying to promote his new memoir.

In an interview with Fox News, Ms Haley slammed what she described as “lies and gossip to sell a book” on the part of Mr Pompeo, who is making the rounds to promote his new volume, Never Give an Inch: Fighting for the America I Love.

“I don’t know why he said it, but that’s exactly why I stayed out of DC as much as possible, to get away from the drama,” she said, adding later that Mr Pence is a friend of hers.

The ex-US ambassador to the United Nations also said she is considering running for president, telling interviewer Bret Baier on Thursday that she believes the current economic situation pushes for a new leader, adding that she thinks she can be that person.

“Well, when you’re looking at a run for president, you look at two things. You first look at, ‘does the current situation push for new?’ The second question is, ‘am I that person that could be that new leader?’ said Ms Haley, in response to Fox anchor Bret Baier’s question on whether she will contest the 2024 presidential race.

“You know, on the first question...” she said, before launching into a lengthy criticism of the Joe Biden administration. “You can look all across the board, domestic, foreign policy.”

“You can look at, you know, inflation going up, economy shrinking, government getting bigger, you know, small business owners not being able to pay their rent. Big businesses getting these bailouts, all of these things warrant the fact that, yes, we need to go in a new direction,” Ms Haley said.

“So do I think I could be that leader? Yes, But we are still working through things and we’ll figure it out. I’ve never lost a race. I said that then, I still say that now. I’m not going to lose now,” she added.

Ms Haley had previously said she wouldn’t run against Mr Trump, but when asked about her statement, she said a lot has changed since then, adding that the “survival of America matters”.

“If I run, I’m running against Joe Biden. That’s what I’m focused on, because we can’t have a second term of Joe Biden,” Ms Haley said.

“It’s bigger than one person. And when you’re looking at the future of America, I think it’s time for new generational change. I don’t think you need to be 80 years old to go be a leader in DC,” Ms Haley said.

“I think we need a young generation to come in, step up, and really start fixing things.”

She told Baier that she made her statement “before we surrendered to Afghanistan, it was before we saw this high inflation and high crime, it was before we saw drugs infesting all of our states, it was before we saw our foreign policy in disarray, so a lot has changed.

“And when I look at that, I look at the fact if I’m this passionate and I’m this determined, why not me?” Ms Haley said.

Ms Haley told viewers to “stay tuned” when asked if a decision on 2024 is to be made anytime soon.