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Trump Provides Major Update On His VP Search

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OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.


There has been much speculation about who Donald Trump will choose as his running mate for this year’s presidential bid, and he has provided a major update in that regard.

Trump winnowed the list of prospects even further when he announced this week who it won’t be: His one-time UN ambassador.

After a report suggested otherwise, Trump delivered a statement via Truth Social reading: “Nikki Haley is not under consideration for the V.P. slot, but I wish her well! DJT.”

Haley, the last contender against the former president, joined the Hudson Institute in April. This Washington, D.C.-based think tank, which specializes in international affairs and national security, will likely benefit from Haley’s experience as a two-term governor of South Carolina and her tenure as the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations during the Trump administration. Haley, who received the Hudson Institute’s global leadership award in 2018 while serving as U.N. ambassador, assumed the role of the institute’s Walter P. Stern Chair.

“Nikki is a proven, effective leader on both foreign and domestic policy,” said Hudson President and CEO John P. Walters. “In an era of worldwide political upheaval, she has remained a steadfast defender of freedom and an effective advocate for American security and prosperity. We are honored to have her join the Hudson team.”

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Haley continues to garner some support in Republican primaries even though she formally dropped out of the race two months ago, after which she refused at the time to endorse the likely nominee, former President Donald Trump.

And no endorsement appears forthcoming—at least not yet, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The outlet reported late last week that the former South Carolina governor and UN ambassador under Trump is set to attend a retreat on Monday and Tuesday. During the retreat, she will thank around 100 of her donors. She is also not expected to talk about her political future or encourage those donors to give to other campaigns, including Trump’s campaign.

A source told the outlet that Haley and Trump never spoke when she dropped out of the race on March 6 and have not had any talks since.

Eric Tanenblatt, a long-time GOP fundraiser and strategist in Georgia, says he hopes that Nikki Haley, 52, will run for president again. Tanenblatt plans to attend the donor meeting.

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“Sometimes it takes more than one run to secure the nomination. Look at John McCain and Mitt Romney,” he said, citing two past GOP nominees who took more than one try. “She created something of a movement and built a coalition of Republicans and independents and even some conservative Democrats.”

The strategist told the WSJ he can see a scenario in which Haley publicly supports her former boss, but that it would take Trump reaching out to her and her supporters. “It’s now up to President Trump to unite the Republican Party by demonstrating to Nikki supporters that they have a place under the tent,” he said.

Karoline Leavitt, a spokeswoman for the Trump campaign, stated that the party has rallied around Trump. She declined to comment on whether her candidate has communicated with Haley since she exited the race.

“President Trump is building a historic and unified political movement to make America great again,” Leavitt said.

Senior members of Haley’s political and fundraising team are set to attend a meeting to analyze the strategies and efforts that enabled her campaign to surpass approximately a dozen other primary contenders. During the review, her team plans to report that Haley’s campaign and associated groups raised $162 million from over 287,000 donors.

Despite suspending her campaign, she continues to garner support in Republican primaries. For instance, on Tuesday in Indiana, she received nearly 22 percent of the vote, underscoring a potential weakness for Trump among key suburban voters.

“That’s incredible, considering she never campaigned there,” Bill Strong, a Florida-based former international investment banker and longtime GOP fundraiser who supported Haley and plans to attend the donor meeting, told the WSJ.

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