Donald Trump, Nikki Haley

President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with outgoing U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley in the Oval Office of the White House, Tuesday, Oct. 9, 2018, in Washington.

AP Photo

Former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley called former President Donald Trump’s potential third indictment an ongoing “distraction” in the race for the Republican nomination for the White House.

Haley served as ambassador to the United Nations for about two years during Trump’s one term in office.

They are now both vying for the presidency.

Trump, who already has been indicted twice in recent months, has been told by Special Prosecutor Jack Smith that he is the target of a grand jury investigation into the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, signaling he could face charges in the probe.

“The rest of this primary election is going be in reference to Trump, it’s going to be about lawsuits, it’s going to be about legal fees, it’s going to be about judges, and it’s going to continue to be a further and further distraction,” Haley said on Fox News Tuesday morning. “That’s why I am running. We need a new generational leader. We can’t keep dealing with this drama. We can’t keep dealing with the negativity.

“We can’t be sitting there focused on lawsuits over and over again,” she added.

Trump, who is leading in the polls among Republican candidates, also has said he may not attend the first Republican presidential debate scheduled for Aug. 23 in Milwaukee.

Haley said Trump should participate in the debate to give voters an opportunity to see all of their options.

“When it comes to the debate, what I’ll say is, we can’t complain about (Joe) Biden not debating RFK (Jr.) if Trump is not going to get on the debate stage and stand next to us,” Haley said. “I have never known him to be scared of anything. I certainly don’t expect him to be scared of the debate stage.”

“You do it because you want to serve the American people. You don’t serve the American people by being absent. You show them you want to serve the American people by showing up,” Haley added.

Joseph Bustos is a state government and politics reporter at The State. He’s a Northwestern University graduate and previously worked in Illinois covering government and politics. He has won reporting awards in both Illinois and Missouri. He moved to South Carolina in November 2019.
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