Former South Carolina governor Nikki Haley adopted a harsher tone on Donald Trump’s indictment in the classified documents probe, becoming one of the few 2024 GOP contenders to openly slam the former president for his alleged mishandling of the files.
“If this indictment is true...President Trump was incredibly reckless with our national security,” Haley said Monday in an interview with Fox News. “This puts all our military men and women in danger.”
Before the indictment had been unsealed, Haley had described the Department of Justice’s case as “prosecutorial overreach” and “vendetta politics.”
Haley, who served as U.N. Ambassador under Trump, emphasized that “two things can be true at the same time,” underscoring that while Trump may have acted recklessly and unlawfully, she still believes the the case against him has been highly politicized, which echoes the sentiment expressed by most Republican candidates in the race.
“The DOJ and FBI have lost all credibility with the American people,” Haley said, adding that it was “time to move beyond” the indictment for the moment.
Former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson is so far the only major GOP contender who has called on Trump to drop out from the race in light of the accusations described in the indictment. Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie called the allegations ”devastating" but stopped short of calling on Trump to drop out.
Trump faces 37 charges in relation to the probe, including 31 counts under the Espionage Act for willful retention of national defense information
The indictment details how Trump recklessly stored boxes of highly sensitive documents at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida, including moving some files to a bathroom and shower at the club. Many of these files reportedly contained data related to U.S. nuclear weapon capabilities and military plans in case of a foreign attack.
Prosecutors also allege that on at least two occasions, Trump showed classified documents to people without authorized clearance. When subpoenaed for the documents, Trump also allegedly called on his staff to conceal the documents in question.
The former president is set to be arraigned at a Miami federal courthouse on Tuesday, pending confirmation that he finds new representation in Miami after his legal team shakeup.
Trump has denied any wrongdoing and has vowed to stay in the campaign.