Nikki Haley defends Trump, calling him 'truthful'

Former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley vigorously defended Donald Trump on Tuesday, pushing back against concerns about his mental acuity and fitness to serve and describing the president as “truthful” during her time in his administration.

“I talked to him multiple times, and when I had issues, he always heard me out,” Haley said Tuesday on NBC’s “Today” show. “I never had any concern on whether he could handle the job ever.”

“What about his truthfulness?” host Savannah Guthrie pressed, repeating her question. “Did you think he was a truthful person?”

“Yes, in every instance I dealt with him, he was truthful, he listened and he was great to work with,” Haley responded.

The former South Carolina governor appeared on the “Today” show to promote her new book after stepping down from her position as ambassador to the U.N. in 2018.

In a round of interviews in recent days, Haley consistently defended the president, calling impeachment “the most serious thing you can do to a president,” and maintaining that Trump said nothing inappropriate in a call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in which the president pushed for an investigation into political opponent Joe Biden.

“There is no insistence on that call, there are no demands on that call,” Haley said. “It was a conversation between two presidents that’s casual in nature. It’s hard to find anywhere that the president of Ukraine would think funds were being held and he had to do this.”

She expressed skepticism about the House impeachment inquiry, and questioned whether Biden engaged in possible “abuse” of his position as vice president while his son served on the board of a Ukrainian natural gas company. Trump continues to seek an investigation into the Bidens for misconduct, though the claims against Joe Biden are unsubstantiated.

“Here you’ve got a situation where there was no investigation and the aid flowed as it was supposed to so when you look at that situation, it’s hard to see where impeachment would qualify for that,” she continued. “We are less than a year away from the election. Instead, let the people decide.”

In her 2018 resignation letter, Haley vowed not to run for president in 2020 and said she would back Trump. Haley has generally maintained her position in Trump’s good graces, prompting the GOP and Trump aides to eye her as an up-and-coming Republican leader.

“Make sure you order your copy today, or stop by one of her book tour stops to get a copy and say hello,” Trump tweeted Sunday. “Good luck Nikki!”