Defiant Nikki Haley slams Trump and Biden while vowing to stay in 2024 race: Live

Nikki Haley doubles down on vow she will stay in presidential race

Ahead of a major address, Nikki Haley told The Associated Press that she will not leave the Republican primary election regardless of the result in South Carolina this Saturday, vowing to stay in the 2024 race at least until after Super Tuesday on 5 March.

The former governor and UN ambassador has yet to win any state against frontrunner Donald Trump.

Ms Haley made headlines over the weekend by declining to say she would endorse Mr Trump but promising to pardon him if she entered the White House.

The former president reacted furiously to those comments, appearing to object to Ms Haley effectively “legitimising” the criminal cases against him, contrary to his baseless insistence that they are all part of a conspiracy being orchestrated by President Joe Biden and his myriad enemies.

In her remarks on Tuesday lunchtime, Ms Haley attacked both Mr Biden and Mr Trump for their respective ages and condemned their records in the White House — the former for inflation and the crisis at the border, and the latter for his myriad of legal problems and his callous insults directed at military heroes.


FBI informant accused of false claims of bribery against Biden had contact with Russian intelligence

In a court filing seeking pretrial detention, the Department of Justice alleges that Alexander Smirnov, an FBI informant accused of making false claims of bribery against President Joe Biden, had contacts with Russian intelligence.

“He claims to have contacts with multiple foreign intelligence agencies and had plans to leave the US two days after he was arrested last week for a months-long, multi-country foreign trip. During this trip, the defendant claimed to be meeting with foreign intelligence contacts.”

During an interview with the FBI, “Smirnov admitted that officials associated with Russian intelligence were involved in passing a story about [Hunter Biden].”

The filing includes a passage that states about a meeting at Ukrainian energy firm Burisma: “At no point during this meeting … did Burisma Offical 2 tell Smirnov that Burisma had hired [Hunter Biden] to ‘protect us, through his dad, from all kinds of problems.’”

Mr Smirnov also had access to over $6m in liquid funds, “more than enough money for him to live comfortably overseas for the rest of his life”.

Further, the filing says: “When he was interviewed by FBI agents in September 2023, Smirnov repeated some of his false claims, changed his story as to other of his claims, and promoted a new false narrative after he said he met with Russian officials.”

In addition: “Law enforcement knows about Smirnov’s contact with officials affiliated with Russian intelligence because Smirnov himself reported on a number of those contacts to his FBI Handler.”

He also told his handler: “The Russian Intelligence Service intercepted several calls placed by prominent US persons the Russian government may use as ‘kompromat’ in the 2024 election, depending on who the candidates will be.”

Here’s our earlier reporting on the case courtesy of Andrew Feinberg in Washington, DC:

Oliver O’Connell20 February 2024 22:30


Schumer hits out at Graham over border ‘photo-op’ after voting against security bill

Oliver O’Connell20 February 2024 22:24


Top oversight Democrat slams Biden impeachment witness as ‘chaotic to the point of burlesque’

On Tuesday, Mr Raskin wrote in a letter to Mr Bobulinski’s lawyer and the Republican chair of the panel, Kentucky Rep James Comer, that Mr Bobulinski’s “interview was chaotic to the point of burlesque as he repeatedly yelled, shouted, filibustered, and hurled outlandish and baseless accusations and insults against Democratic Members and staff”.

Oliver O’Connell20 February 2024 22:00


Biden campaign likens second term Trump policy goals to ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’

Lauren Hitt, senior spokesperson for the Biden campaign calls the supposed policy goals of a second Trump presidency “straight out of The Handmaid’s Tale” when asked about a Politico report that allies of the former president are pushing a “Christian nationalist” agenda.

“This is straight out of The Handmaid’s Tale. Nationwide abortion bans, attacks on same-sex marriage, and restrictions on contraception — this is the horrifying reality being openly discussed by Team Trump and the likely architects of his second term agenda,” said Ms Hitt in a statement.

“Every day Donald Trump openly supports an agenda of restricting Americans” freedoms, dividing our country, and attacking our rights. That’s what he will do as president. It’s not who we are as Americans. Like they’ve done election after election, Americans will reject Donald Trump and his out-of-touch extremism again this November.”

Oliver O’Connell20 February 2024 21:30


Trump campaign says he will wrap up nomination by 12 March

Having widened his polling lead over fellow candidate Nikki Haley in her home state of South Carolina, Donald Trump’s 2024 campaign has released a memo saying they expect him to wrap up the Republican Party’s nomination by 12 March, moving up their initial prediction by a week.

In the memo published on Tuesday, the campaign projects he will exceed the 1,215-delegate threshold on that date, which is after Super Tuesday but coincides with primaries in Hawaii, Washington, Mississippi, and Georgia. There are a total of 2,429 Republican delegates nationwide.

Back in December, the campaign said it believed Mr Trump would seal the deal on 19 March when Arizona, Florida, Illinois, Kansas, and Ohio hold their primaries.

They also predict he will take all 50 delegates in Saturday’s primary in South Carolina.

Ms Haley’s campaign is described as “broken down” in the memo and the former governor is referred to as a “wailing loser hell-bent on an alternative reality”.

Should Mr Trump have secured the majority of the delegates by 12 March, he still wouldn’t be the official candidate until the Republican National Convention on 15-18 July in Milwaukee.

Ms Haley has vowed to stay in the race until at least Super Tuesday.

Oliver O’Connell20 February 2024 21:11


Newsom asked if he would step to replace Biden if need be

California governor Gavin Newsom is asked at a press event if there’s any chance he’d join the 2024 presidential race if President Joe Biden isn’t on the ticket for some reason.

He responds by saying that the president is coming to California tonight and will be in the Bay Area tomorrow and that he hopes to be invited to Mr Biden’s inauguration for a second term.

Oliver O’Connell20 February 2024 21:00


Watch: Haley hits Trump over comparison with Navalny

Oliver O’Connell20 February 2024 20:45


Poll: Haley has support of moderates and liberals in South Carolina

Undeterred by a series of legal battles, former president Donald Trump maintains a substantial lead over Nikki Haley, his last remaining 2024 GOP competitor, in her home state of South Carolina, a new poll shows.

The Suffolk University/USA Today poll shows the former president with 63 per cent support from South Carolina primary voters — or those who said they are “very likely” to vote. The former South Carolina governor had 35 per cent support.

Mr Trump has an overall lead in the state but certain populations prefer Ms Haley over the Republican frontrunner, according to the poll.

Kelly Rissman looks at the numbers:

Oliver O’Connell20 February 2024 20:30


Watch: Haley accuses Trump of trying to hold a Soviet-style election

Oliver O’Connell20 February 2024 20:00


Watch: Who would Biden rather run against?

Oliver O’Connell20 February 2024 19:40

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