CNN panel turns Nikki Haley into new whistleblower: ‘What does she get out of all this?’

CBS This Morning

“CNN Newsroom” weekend anchor Ana Cabrera was salivating over an excerpt from Nikki Haley’s new book, as the former UN Ambassador said then-White House chief of staff John Kelly and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson routinely worked around and undermined President Donald Trump.

Cabrera was excited over the idea of the men opting to work against Trump — they made the noble claim that they were trying to “save the country” — though she did appear to have some concerns about Haley being a rising star in the GOP.

In calling attention to the passage, the CNN anchor tried to create palace intrigue by painting a picture of Haley writing about the incident to position herself for personal gain.

“This isn’t just an anonymous source,” Cabrera said. “This is the chief of staff and the secretary of state, according to Nikki Haley, saying they had to save the country from this president and that people could die if left unchecked.”

“Yeah, that’s coming from the former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations,” said Reuters White House correspondent Jeff Mason, who stressed that there “was very, very deep concern at the top levels of President Trump’s inner circle.”

Mason went on to suggest that Haley was positioning herself as “a loyal foot soldier … with an eye to her political future as well.”

What Cabrera doesn’t share is that Haley described as “offensive” the alleged effort by Kelly and Tillerson to maneuver against the president behind his back.

In an interview with “CBS Sunday Morning,” Haley talked about how the two should have voiced their differences with Trump “and quit if you don’t like what he’s doing.”

But to undermine a president is really a very dangerous thing and it goes against the Constitution. And it goes against what the American people want. And that was offensive,” the former governor of South Carolina added.

This garners little attention in the anti-Trump media, which zeroed in on the two men believing that they needed to save America from this president.

Cabrera and Mason then discussed whether there is now anybody inside the White House who says no to Trump and how there doesn’t appear to be any checks in place — the presumption being that the president needs to be checked.

But the discussion circled back to Haley and her motivations.

“She’s painted herself certainly as loyal to this president. What does she get out of all this?” Cabrera asked Washington Post reporter Karoun Demirjian.

“I think everybody knows that Nikki Haley is a bright light in the GOP, potentially a rising star. Probably has aspirations to get back into government in some fashion and I think people in the party look at her as potential presidential material down the line,” Demirjiam replied.

She said Haley’s book “puts a ribbon on her years in the Trump Administration,” setting herself up as somebody who was not disloyal to the president but seen as an independent thinker.

“That kind of sets her up with her foot in both camps, in the middle of things in a GOP that is often at war with itself right now and that’s going to be struggling to find itself post-Trump,” Demirjiam said. “We don’t know if that’s a year from now or five years from now.”

“Nikki Haley is one of the figures that is seen as the potential future for the GOP and she’s telling her story right now in a way that is kind of playing at both sides here in a party that is going to be trying to find its way,” she concluded.


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