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US presidential election: Nikki Haley questions Trump’s mental fitness after he confused her with Nancy Pelosi

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Republican White House hopeful, Nikki Haley, on Saturday (Jan 20) questioned former United States President Donald Trump’s mental fitness after he repeatedly seemed to confuse her with former US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi during a campaign speech. 

Trump confuses Nikki and Nancy

Speaking at a campaign event on Friday ahead of the first-in-the-nation primary election in the US state of New Hampshire, Trump seemingly confused Haley with Pelosi and blamed the former South Carolina governor for not protecting the Capitol during the attack on January 6. 

“Nikki Haley is in charge of security. We offered her 10,000 people – soldiers, National Guard, whatever they want – they turned it down. They don’t want to talk about that,” the Republican frontrunner told his supporters. 

WATCH | US: Nikki Haley questions Donald Trump’s mental fitness

The former president was referring to the attack on the US Capitol on January 6 when his supporters stormed the building to stop the American lawmakers from certifying incumbent President Joe Biden’s win following the 2020 presidential election. 

He mentioned Haley again and added, “They destroyed all of the information, all of the evidence, everything, deleted and destroyed all of it.” 

The 77-year-old Republican frontrunner has repeatedly accused Pelosi of turning down security he says his administration offered, however, a special House committee which was tasked with investigating the attack found no evidence to support that claim.

Haley’s response

In response to Trump’s gaffe, Haley, on Saturday said, “They’re saying he got confused, that he was talking about something else, he’s talking about Nancy Pelosi.” She added, “He mentioned me multiple times in that scenario.” 

“The concern I have is — I’m not saying anything derogatory — but when you’re dealing with the pressures of the presidency, we can’t have someone else that we question whether they’re mentally fit to do this,” said the former United Nations Ambassador. 

Notably, Haley, who turned 52 on Saturday (Jan 20), has advocated for “mental competency tests” for older politicians and has previously taken a swipe at both Trump and Biden, 81, for their age.

At a rally in Manchester, New Hampshire on Saturday night Trump said that he took a cognitive test and “aced it.” He added, “I’ll let you know when I go bad. I really think I’ll be able to tell you.” The former president also said that “his mind is stronger now than it was 25 years ago.”

Trump ‘obsessed’ with dictators

The former South Carolina governor while speaking to reporters following an event in Peterborough, New Hampshire emphasised on Trump’s relationships with strongmen such as Russia’s Vladimir Putin, Chinese President Xi Jinping and North Korea’s Kim Jong Un.

Recently, her campaign released a television ad which will run in New Hampshire featuring the mother of Otto Warmbier, who died in 2017 after being held in North Korean custody. 

Haley accused Trump of writing “love letters” to Kim after Warmbier was recovered, adding that he is “obsessed with these dictators.” 

Haley will not be Trump’s VP

Hours after Haley made it clear to New Hampshire voters on Friday that she would not serve as Trump’s vice president if he wins the Republican nomination, the former US president also said he would not pick her to be his running mate. 

Haley, who is challenging Trump for the Republican presidential nomination, told voters at a diner stop in Amherst, New Hampshire, “I don’t want to be anybody’s vice president. That is off the table,” as quoted by Politico and the Washington Post.  

Hours after Haley’s remark, Trump said, “She is OK, but she is not presidential timber. And when I say that, that probably means she is not going to be chosen as the vice president.” 

This comes as many have speculated that the former president may choose American entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy who dropped out of the race to White House after the Iowa caucuses and has since endorsed Trump. 

(With inputs from agencies)

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