Sun. Jan 29th, 2023

​Nikki Haley schemed with Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump to become then-President Donald Trump’s No. 2 — even while she was serving as the 45th president’s ambassador to the United Nations, ex-Secretary of State Mike Pompeo relates in his forthcoming book. ​​

Pompeo writes in “Never Give an Inch,” an excerpt of which was obtained by the Guardian, that Haley “played” John Kelly — then the White House chief of staff — by showing up to a supposed one-on-one Oval Office meeting with Trump with the president’s daughter and son-in-law in tow.

“As best Kelly could tel​l, ​they were presenting a possible ‘Haley for vice-president’ option,” Pompeo writes. “I can’t confirm this, but [Kelly] was certain he had been played, and he was not happy about it. Clearly, this visit did not reflect a team effort but undermined our work for America.” 

Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says in his new book that Nikki Haley schemed with Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner to become Donald Trump's running mate in 2020.Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says in his new book that Nikki Haley schemed with Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner to become Donald Trump’s running mate in 2020.Getty ImagesMike Pompeo and Nikki Haley at the State Department on June 19, 2018. Mike Pompeo and Nikki Haley at the State Department on June 19, 2018. AFP via Getty Images

Speculation that Trump was planning on ditching Vice President Mike Pence for the 2020 campaign in favor of Haley, who had been the governor of South Carolina before joining the administration, became so hot that Trump himself had to publicly deny the reports, saying Pence would “100%” remain on the ticket.

The anecdote is one of a number of ways Pompeo reveals his disdain for Haley, who, like the former top US diplomat, is considering a presidential run in 2024.

Pompeo dismisses the UN ambassador’s position as “a job that is far less important than people think” and questions Haley’s commitment to public service over her own ambition.

Nikki Haley, the former UN ambassador, speaks at a Republican Jewish Coalition annual leadership meeting on Nov. 19, 2022, in Las Vegas. Nikki Haley, the former UN ambassador, speaks at a Republican Jewish Coalition annual leadership meeting on Nov. 19, 2022, in Las Vegas. Bloomberg via Getty Images

Haley stepped down from the diplomatic post in October 2018 — or as Pompeo writes, “flat-out threw in the towel.”

“She has described her role as going toe-to-toe with tyrants,” he says. “If so, then why would she quit such an important job at such an important time?”

With Haley’s resignation, Pompeo claims, she “abandoned” Trump just as she had the “great people of South Carolina” when she resigned as governor in 2017 to take the UN job.

Pompeo tosses out several other tidbits in his book, including that Trump once had the “nutty idea” that he could be the secretary of state and secretary of defense at the same time. 

According to Pompeo, he was approached in July 2020 by then-White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, who told him that Mark Esper would soon be out at the Pentagon — and that Trump wanted Pompeo to “take on leading the Department of Defense as an additional duty.”  ​​

Pompeo writes that he told Meadows he had “plenty” to do at the State Department and “couldn’t possibly command Defense at the same time.”​

​​​In the tome, Pompeo speaks fondly of Trump and Pence, but savages former national security adviser John Bolton as a “scumbag loser” who should “be in jail, for spilling classified information.”​

After Trump fired Bolton in 2019, the longtime neoconservative security analyst ​wrote a memoir of his time in the White House, called “The Room Where It Happened,” that recounted conversations he had with Trump. 

​The Trump administration sued to stop publication of the book, claiming it contained sensitive national security details. ​​

Pompeo even compares Bolton in the book to notorious leaker Edward Snowden, saying ​the former National Security Agency contractor ​“at least had the decency not to lie about his motive​.​”

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Ivanka Trump

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