Trump losing 'turf war' with Nikki Haley as his handpicked candidate falters: report
Nikki Haley, Donald Trump (Photo by Olivier Douliery for AFP)

According to a report from Politico, Donald Trump's attempt to oust Rep. Nancy Mace (R-SC) in the Republican primary in South Carolina on June 14th seems to be going nowhere with former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (R) backing the incumbent who appears headed to victory.

As Politico has previously reported, "While she worked to elect Trump in 2016, Mace became a fierce critic after last year’s Capitol riot, then later embraced her partisan-warrior side before taking a high-profile anti-Trump vote. This year, after the former president endorsed Mace’s primary challenger, she filmed a video in front of Trump Tower touting herself as the only Republican who could keep Democrats from claiming her seat."

The new report notes that Haley, who championed Mace's first run, bucked the former president by continuing to back the embattled lawmaker against Trump's handpicked choice Katie Arrington and appears to have won the battle.

"Haley, a former South Carolina governor, has appeared in Mace’s TV ads, headlined a fundraiser that raised six figures, and is expected to close out the race by holding several events with the congresswoman," writes Politico's Alex Isenstadt. "By throwing her political might behind Mace — a candidate derided by Trump as 'nasty, disloyal, and bad for the Republican Party' — and risking a defeat in her home state, Haley is taking steps to distinguish herself from a former president whom she served and who, like her, is weighing a 2024 bid."

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The Politico report adds that sources close to Trump admit that Arrington looks like she will come up short and that Trump canceled plans for a last-minute visit to the state to shore up her chances, with Isenstad noting that the former president previously, "... refrained from visiting Mace’s district for fear his candidate may lose."

According to former Rep. Mark Sanford (R-SC), who also fell out of favor with Trump, Haley made a “well-calculated political decision, with in essence no downside,” adding, "When you’re no longer in the Trump fold, you’re out of the Trump fold. She’s outside the fold, so there’s no downside in being on the opposite side from him in something.”

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