Speed Reads

MAGA purgatory

Trump reportedly turned down Nikki Haley's request for a Mar-a-Lago meeting

Was it something she said? Yes, almost certainly.

Nikki Haley, America's United Nations ambassador under former President Donald Trump, reached out to Trump on Wednesday to request a face-to-face meeting at Mar-a-Lago — and he said no, Politico and The Hill reported Thursday evening.

The presumptive predicate to Trump's snub was Tim Alberta's long profile of Haley in Politico Magazine, in which Haley said, among positive things, that Trump "let us down" and has "lost any sort of political viability he was going to have" so isn't "going to be in the picture" political because "he's fallen so far." Up until the Jan. 6 Capitol siege, Haley had largely declined to criticize Trump since leaving his administration in 2018, and there's widespread speculation she plans to run for president in 2024.

"Haley tried to recover" from her criticism of Trump with a "damage-control op-ed" Wednesday in The Wall Street Journal, Politico notes, "but Trump, apparently, isn't having it."

Of course he isn't — "there is no halfway with Trump," CNN's Chris Cillizza argues. Haley's key quote about Trump to Alberta, he said, encapsulates her 2024 campaign theme: "I think what we need to do is take the good that he built, leave the bad that he did, and get back to a place where we can be a good, valuable, effective party." In other words, Cillizza paraphrases: "I'm the parts of Donald Trump you liked without any of the parts you didn't like!" Trump wants you all-in or you're out, he said, so unless Haley drops any criticism, she's out with him and, presumably, the GOP base he controls.