Nikki Haley rips ‘ridiculous’ claim from Trump’s lawyers that assassinating political rivals is covered by presidential immunity


By Nikki Schwab, Senior U.S. Political Reporter For Dailymail.Com In Des Moines, Iowa

Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley called the claim by former President Donald Trump’s lawyers that a president could assassinate a political rival ‘ridiculous’ during Wednesday night’s Republican presidential debate. 

Trump, again, skipped the debate, which was held in Des Moines and only featured Haley, the former U.N. ambassador, and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis onstage. 

Moderator CNN’s Jake Tapper asked Haley about the jaw-dropping moment during Tuesday’s D.C. court appearance in which Trump’s lawyer argued a president would be immune from prosecution unless he or she was convicted in the Senate in an impeachment trial first. 

‘No, that’s ridiculous. That’s completely ridiculous,’ the former South Carolina governor said. ‘I mean, we need to use some common sense here. You can’t go and kill a political rival and claim, you know, immunity from a president.’ 

While Haley has said on the campaign trail that Trump was the ‘right president at the right time,’ she then added, ‘I think we have to start doing things that are right.’ 

Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley called the claim by former President Donald Trump ‘s lawyers that a president could assassinate a political rival ‘ridiculous’ during Wednesday night’s Republican presidential debate

‘We need to look at what President Trump has done,’ she continued. ‘You look at the last few years and our country is completely divided. It’s divided over extremes, it’s divided over hatred, it’s divided over the fact that people think if someone doesn’t agree with you, they’re bad.’ 

‘Now we have leaders in our country that decide who is good and who is bad, who is right, who is wrong. That’s not what a leader does,’ she said. 

She argued that true leaders bring out the best in people ‘and get them to see the way forward.’ 

‘That’s what we need in out country. We don’t need this chaos anymore,’ she added. ‘We need someone who is going to be a new generational leader.’ 

The 51-year-old’s response was one of the most pointed attacks she made against Trump, who she served under at the United Nations. 

During Trump’s day in court Tuesday, as his lawyers try to get him immunity from charges filed by Special Counsel Jack Smith related to January 6 and 2020 election interference, Judge Florence Pan asked Trump lawyer John Sauer just how far presidential immunity could extend. 

‘Could a president who ordered SEAL Team 6 to assassinate a political rival, who was not impeached, would he be subject to criminal prosecution,’ Pan asked, adding that this was a ‘yes-or-no question.’

Sauer explained that prosecution would only be permitted if the president had been impeached by the House of Representatives and then convicted in the Senate. 

In both of Trump’s impeachments, he was let off the hook by the Senate, in which a two-thirds vote was needed – a high bar when the Senate in recent years has been split about evenly between members of the two parties.  



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