Former US president Donald Trump on Saturday questioned why the husband of Republican rival Nikki Haley was not on the campaign trail, drawing sharp responses from the former UN ambassador and her husband, who is abroad on a National Guard mission.
“What happened to her husband?” Trump told a crowd in Conway, South Carolina, as he and Haley held events across the state ahead of its Feb. 24 Republican primary. “Where is he? He’s gone. He knew. He knew.”
Haley responded in a post on X: “Michael is deployed serving our country, something you know nothing about.”
It is the latest example of Trump disparaging his opponents based on their US military service, going back to his questioning of whether the late US senator John McCain, a prisoner of war in Vietnam, was a hero, because Trump liked “people who weren’t captured.”
Throughout his political career, Trump has been accused of disregarding longstanding norms on avoiding attacking current or past servicemembers or people in a politician’s family.
Michael Haley began a yearlong stint in June last year with the South Carolina Army National Guard. He is being deployed as a staff officer with the 218th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade, which the National Guard says is providing support in the Horn of Africa.
Shortly after Trump’s comments, Michael Haley posted a meme on his own X account with a picture of a wolf and the text: “The difference between humans and animals? Animals would never allow the dumbest ones to lead the pack.” Nikki Haley’s campaign confirmed the account belonged to her husband.
Trump has said he avoided service in the Vietnam War through student and medical deferments. His wife, former first lady Melania Trump, has been absent from the campaign trail and has not appeared with him at a public campaign event since his announcement speech.
Nikki Haley has pushed Trump to debate her, as she seeks to change the trajectory of the race after the former president and heavy front-runner won the first three primary states. She again challenged him at a campaign stop on Saturday night.
“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,” she told a crowd.
Nikki Haley’s surrogates also wasted no time addressing Saturday’s comments.
“When you start talking about a veteran serving overseas, I don’t care if you know them or not, that should make your heart sick,” said South Carolina Representative Chris Wooten, who introduced Haley at an evening rally.
Nikki Haley expressed pride in her husband’s service, adding that every military spouse knows military careers are a “family sacrifice.”
As she has frequently done in speeches over the past year, she recounted her husband’s difficulty readjusting to life after his deployment to Afghanistan. He could not tolerate loud noises and could not stand crowds, she said.
People like her husband make such sacrifices “because they still believe in this amazing experiment that is America,” she said.
“If they’re willing to sacrifice for us, shouldn’t we be willing to fight for America here? Because we have a country to save,” she said, closing out her speech.
SOUTH CHINA SEA SPAT: The image bolsters a Philippine Coast Guard assertion that Chinese inflatable boats deployed floating barriers at the shoal’s entrance last week Satellite images of the hotly disputed Scarborough Shoal (Huangyan Island, 黃岩島) in the South China Sea show a new floating barrier across its entrance, near where Philippine ships and Chinese coast guard vessels have had frequent run-ins. One of the images taken by Maxar Technologies on Thursday last week and viewed by Reuters showed the barrier blocking the mouth of the shoal, where the Chinese coast guard last week claimed to have driven off a Philippine vessel “illegally intruding” into Beijing’s waters. Manila, which last week deployed a Philippine Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) vessel to patrol the shoal and
Satoshi Kirishima spent almost half a century evading arrest, until mortality intervened. As deathbed confessions go, his was astonishing: Having lived a double life as a construction worker, the 70-year-old was admitted last month to a hospital near Tokyo where he told staff he was one of Japan’s most-wanted fugitives. In a more recent image provided to Japanese media by an acquaintance, it is just possible to discern a resemblance with the black-and-white photograph that has adorned Japanese police boxes for decades showing a bespectacled, smiling university student with shoulder-length hair. While he shared details of his family and his organization that only
CHINA LINKS: A report said that there were concerns about the loyalty of Qiu Xiangguo and Cheng Keding due to their direct contact with entities linked to China Two scientists at Canada’s top infectious disease laboratory lost their jobs after reviews found that they failed to protect sensitive assets and information, and failed to acknowledge collaborations with China, newly released records showed. The scientists, Qiu Xiangguo (邱香果) and her husband, Cheng Keding (成克定), were stripped of their security clearances in 2019 at Canada’s National Microbiology Laboratory over questions about their loyalty to Canada, and the potential for coercion or exploitation by a foreign entity, the documents say. More than 600 pages were made public on Wednesday following a special all-party review of the records. The records show that the Canadian Security
‘RUSSIA CANNOT WIN’: The French president declined to say which nations were considering sending troops, saying he prefers to maintain some ‘strategic ambiguity’ French President Emmanuel Macron on Monday said that sending Western troops on the ground in Ukraine is not “ruled out” after the issue was debated at a gathering of European leaders in Paris, as Russia’s full-scale invasion grinds into a third year. The French leader said that “we will do everything needed so Russia cannot win the war” after the meeting of more than 20 European heads of state and government, and other Western officials. “There’s no consensus today to send in an official, endorsed manner troops on the ground, but in terms of dynamics, nothing can be ruled out,” Macron said