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Trump says Nikki Haley is 'overly ambitious,' won't promise to support the GOP nominee in 2024

Nikki Haley, United States Ambassador to the United Nations, shakes hands with President Donald Trump after she announced her plan to resign at the end of the year in the Oval Office of the White House on October 9, 2018, in Washington, DC.
Nikki Haley, United States Ambassador to the United Nations, shakes hands with President Donald Trump after she announced her plan to resign at the end of the year in the Oval Office of the White House on October 9, 2018, in Washington, DC.Calla Kessler/The Washington Post via Getty Images
  • Trump will not commit to supporting the 2024 GOP nominee.

  • Trump told Nikki Haley she should run for president if she wanted to, but called her "overly ambitious."

  • The ex-president made the comments on Hugh Hewitt.

Former President Donald Trump wouldn't commit to supporting the 2024 Republican nominee for president should he fail to secure the title, he told radio host Hugh Hewitt on Thursday.

"It would have to depend on who the nominee was," Trump said, who added that he wouldn't commit to attending all the presidential debates.

Trump is the only 2024 candidate to have declared that he's running for president, though former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley is expected to be next. The former South Carolina governor is set to announce her run on February 15 in her home state, in Charleston, the Post and Courrier was first to report.

Haley didn't blindside Trump in her decision to run. "She called me and she asked me about it and I told her she should follow her heart," Trump shared in the radio interview. He said he told her she should run if she wanted to.

Still, Trump on Wednesday shared a video on his social media platform, Truth Social, of Haley saying she wouldn't challenge Trump for the 2024 nomination if he were to run. He raised the video again during his Hewitt interview.

"Nikki suffers from something that's a very tough thing to suffer from," he said. "She's overly ambitious."

Haley isn't the only one to reverse course on a political pledge. During his 2016 run for the White House, Trump initially promised to support the GOP nominee but then took it back during a town hall on CNN.

In his interview with Hewitt, Trump wouldn't say one way or another whether Haley approached him about her replacing Mike Pence for the vice presidency, as former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo detailed in his new book.

"I don't want to say," Trump said. "I'm not going to embarrass her."

Haley's political team did not immediately respond to a request for comment for this story. Speaking on Fox News Channel's Bret Baier, Haley dismissed Pompeo's accusations as as "lies and gossip."

When asked during the Baier interview about why she'd reversed course on a potential presidential run, Haley, 51, explained that America's survival is "bigger than one person," adding that it's time for a generation of younger leaders to take the reins. Trump would be 78 if he were to become president again — the same age President Joe Biden was when he took his White House oath in 2021.

Presidential campaign veterans told Insider that whoever enters the race next could benefit from the publicity and taking early shots at Trump — though they'd also risk drawing his ire. Other Republican candidates aren't expected to enter the contest anytime soon.

Hewitt on Thursday pressed Trump repeatedly about what his nicknames would be for potential 2024 challengers, but the former president wouldn't share them. Trump was early in declaring his third consecutive run for the presidency, doing so just after the midterms on November 15 from Mar-a-Lago, his private club and residence in Palm Beach, Florida.

Hewitt also asked Trump whether he thought his former allies should run against him.

"I would say that, but I know how life works and I know how politics works," Trump said, "and politics is a microcosm — but even more vicious — of life."

Other potential candidates appear to be in no rush to make a presidential run official, though Insider previously reported that at least 16 other Republicans are considering whether to enter the race.

Read the original article on Business Insider