Nikki Haley Reportedly Teamed Up With Ivanka Trump To Take Down Mike Pence

Former Vice President Mike Pence experienced a very public fallout with the MAGA crowd following the Capitol riot in January 2021 stemming from his refusal to do "the right thing," which, in this context, meant attempting to overturn the election — an action Donald Trump and many conservatives viewed as a betrayal. However, Mike Pompeo, the former Secretary of State under Trump from 2018 to 2021, suggested in his memoir that Pence's rift with both him and certain other members of the MAGA movement actually began years before the insurrection took place. 

"Never Give an Inch: Fighting for the America I Love," claims that two key figures, Ivanka Trump and her husband, Jared Kushner, teamed up with Nikki Haley to persuade Donald to replace Pence with her. The former Secretary of State further alleges that the trio initiated this plan without involving John Kelly, Donald's Chief of Staff at the time. Pompeo writes, "As best as Kelly could tell, they were presenting a possible 'Haley for vice-president' option. I can't confirm this, but [Kelly] was certain he had been played, and he was not happy about it," (via The Guardian). 

Nikki Haley strongly refuted Mike Pompeo's claims

Despite Nikki Haley's known relationship with Donald Trump's in-laws, the Kushners, she denied Mike Pompeo's claims of a secret plan to take down Mike Pence with the help of Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner. In an interview with FOX News, Haley expressed her disappointment at such accusations, asserting, "It's really sad when you have to go out there and put lies and gossip to sell a book," (per CNN).

She emphasized that "Pompeo even says he's not sure if it's true" and firmly stated that she'd "never had a conversation with Jared, Ivanka, or the president about the vice presidentship." Despite Haley's denial, several sources corroborated Pompeo's claims. One insider even revealed Kushner and Ivanka initially attempted to position Haley as the United States Secretary of State after Rex Tillerson.

However, Donald Trump rejected this idea and hired Mike Pompeo instead. His dissatisfaction with Pence reportedly started shortly after Pompeo's appointment, mainly due to Pence's preference for choosing his words more carefully. The source contended that Kushner and Ivanka saw her father's displeasure with Pence as another chance to pitch Haley. However, John Kelly dissuaded the then-president.

Trump and Haley's relationship has been tested

There are plenty of questions surrounding the truth about Nikki Haley and Donald Trump's relationship. In 2015, when Haley was governor of South Carolina, she was one of many vocal critics of the controversial politician. After the infamous Muslim ban, in December 2015, Haley condemned the decision, decrying it as "absolutely un-American" and "unconstitutional," (via CNN). In February 2016, CBS News reported that she'd described Trump as "everything a governor doesn't want in a president," adding that he spoke with a clear lack of knowledge. 

Despite her earlier criticisms, Haley accepted his nomination as the US Ambassador to the United Nations following his victory in the 2016 presidential election. At the time, she was only two years into her second term as Governor of South Carolina, leading many critics to view Haley's acceptance of the UN position as an abandonment of the people of South Carolina in favor of Trump — including Mike Pompeo.

However, Haley's tenure as the UN Ambassador lasted for just two years, ending with her resignation in 2018. By February 2023, she'd announced her intention to run for president, with fresh criticisms of her rival. Haley notably accused him of causing unnecessary issues, while advocating for what she described as a need for a "new generational leader," (via CNN). They're two of the six potential Republican presidential candidates.