Nikki Haley Brushes Off Trump’s ‘Natural Born Citizen’ Claims A Battle of Words in the 2024 Political Arena

by Jessica

In a provocative move, former President Donald Trump amplified a story from the far-right conspiracy site, The Gateway Pundit, suggesting that leading Republican contender Nikki Haley is not a “natural born citizen” and is therefore ineligible for the U.S. presidency. Trump endorsed the argument based on Haley’s 1972 birth to Indian immigrant parents who were not U.S. citizens at the time.

Unfazed by the audacious comments, the former South Carolina governor responded during a CNN hall campaign meeting, stating, “And look, the name-calling — I know President Trump well. That’s what he does when he feels threatened. That’s what he does when he feels insecure. I don’t take these things personally; it doesn’t bother me. I know him very well, and this is what he does. I know that I am a threat; I know that’s why he’s doing that.”

Refusing to engage in a war of words, Haley emphasized that she wouldn’t stoop to “name-calling back with him.” The GOP front-runner, born Nimarata Nikki Randhawa to Punjabi Sikh parents who immigrated from India in the 1960s, clarified that she adopted her husband’s last name upon marriage, initially using her middle name as her first. Recently, Trump targeted her birth name, Nimarada, in a Truth Social outburst, criticizing her Iowa Primary speech and election performance against Ron DeSantis.

Haley dismissed Trump’s claims, affirming her roots in Bamberg, South Carolina, and addressing the accusations. “I love my sweet town, and I’m proud to say I’m from there. So, that’s the first question; we can throw that out the window,” she asserted. Harvard Law School constitutional expert Laurence Tribe denounced Trump’s “birther” allegations as baseless, suggesting Trump might play the race and anti-immigrant cards against Haley, a woman of color and daughter of non-citizen parents when born in the USA.

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