When it comes to President Trump’s rhetoric and mass shootings, Nikki Haley would like to have it both ways, at least while she’s still playing nice ahead of her departure from the United Nations.
On Monday, the outgoing U.N. Ambassador defended the president from critics blaming his rhetoric for Saturday’s shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue. In her defense of Trump, Haley invoked 2015’s tragedy in Charleston, South Carolina, where a gunman killed nine innocent people in a black church.
“I have struggled w/ what happened in Pitts bc it’s so similar to what happened in Chas,” wrote Haley in abbreviated Twitter speak to meet the 280 character limit. “The country was very racially divided @ the time. We didn’t once blame Pres. Obama. We focused solely on the lives lost & their families.”
Inconveniently for Haley, though she might not have blamed Obama for the shooting while serving as the governor of South Carolina, she did lay the massacre at the feet of another political player: Then-candidate Donald Trump. Invoking Charleston in an interview with the Associated Press, Haley linked Trump’s rhetoric and racial dogwhistles to violence.
“I know what that rhetoric can do. I saw it happen,” Haley said, adding that she “will not stop until we fight a man that chooses not to disavow the KKK.”
“That is not a part of our party, that is not who we want as president,” continued the governor. “We will allow not allow that in our country.”
After his presidential upset, Trump appointed Haley his U.N. Ambassador.