President Trump asked where’s Nikki Haley’s husband during a large rally in Conway, South Carolina Saturday, stirring up a hornet’s nest of controversy from the media as well as sharp responses from Haley and her husband.
Trump was talking about how his lone remaining rival for the Republican presidential nomination, former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley–who had been Trump’s first U.N. ambassador–had come to his Palm Beach, Florida home, Mar-a-Lago, with her husband and said she would never run against him. Trump then asked several times where Haley’s husband is closing with “He knew, he knew,” a likely reference to sworn affidavits alleging Haley had affairs years ago that were recently reported by the Daily Mail.
Haley’s husband, Major Michael Haley, is in a one year deployment with the South Carolina Army National Guard to the Horn of Africa that began last June.
Trump said, “…I will never run against him. Then she comes over to see me at Mar-a-Lago. ‘Sir, I will never run against you.’ She brought her husband. Where’s your husband? Oh, he’s away. He’s away. What happened to her husband? What happened to her husband? Where is he? He’s gone! He knew. He knew.”
Trump attacks Nikki Haley’s husband: “Where’s her husband? What happened to her husband? Where is he? He’s gone.” pic.twitter.com/tRslkYmZQk
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) February 10, 2024
The response from much of the media has been to attack Trump, falsely accusing him of mocking Michael Haley’s service, but the New York Times surprisingly ran with the accurate headline, “Trump Insinuates Haley’s Husband Deployed to Africa to Escape Her”
— Shane Goldmacher (@ShaneGoldmacher) February 11, 2024
Haley and her husband responded separately on X Twitter to Trump. Haley also responded in remarks at a campaign stop in South Carolina.
Michael Haley posted on his X Twitter account, presumably from a military base in Africa, a graphic with the words, “The difference between humans and animals? Animals would never allow the dumbest ones to lead the pack,” over a photo of a wolf. The post was addressed to Trump and several media outlets and has over 1 million views.
— Michael Haley (@WMichaelHaley) February 10, 2024
Nikki Haley posted, “Michael is deployed serving our country, something you know nothing about. Someone who continually disrespects the sacrifices of military families has no business being commander in chief.”
Michael is deployed serving our country, something you know nothing about. Someone who continually disrespects the sacrifices of military families has no business being commander in chief. https://t.co/AfN3u4AsJc
— Nikki Haley (@NikkiHaley) February 10, 2024
Haley also responded at a small rally in Gilbert, South Carolina:
“Donald Trump had a rally today. And in that rally, he mocked my husband’s military service. And I’ll say this: Donald, If you have something to say, don’t say it behind my back, get on a debate stage and say it to my face….If you mock the service of a combat veteran, you don’t deserve a driver’s license, let alone being President of the United States.
Haley: He mocked my husband’s military service. If you have something to say, don’t say it behind my back. Get on a debate stage and say it to my face. If you mock the service of a veteran, you don’t deserve a driver’s license let alone being President of the United States. pic.twitter.com/BVwPIAtZ72
— Acyn (@Acyn) February 11, 2024
Earlier Saturday at Trump’s South Carolina rally, decorated combat veteran Rep. Michael Waltz (R-FL) told the crowd how President Trump met and stayed for hours with Gold Star families from the 2021 Afghanistan airport bombing after Joe Biden would not meet them:
Rep. Mike Waltz tells a story about President Trump meeting with Afghanistan Gold Star families: “Not one of them could get a meeting with Joe Biden… So you know what we did? We called up President Trump… He was scheduled to spend an hour… he spends FIVE hours with them…” pic.twitter.com/YRsSUgGvCA
— MAGA War Room (@MAGAIncWarRoom) February 10, 2024
Waltz posted a photo in August 2023 when the meeting took place:
THANK YOU President Trump for spending FOUR hours at a roundtable & dinner with the Kabul bombing Gold Star families.
He heard their stories & frustrations with the lack of transparency and pledged to release everything about the attack.🇺🇸 pic.twitter.com/K2hp31coEj
— Rep. Mike Waltz (@michaelgwaltz) August 31, 2023