Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley has responded to former president Donald Trump’s remarks after he appeared to confuse her with Nancy Pelosi, citing concerns about whether he is “mentally fit” for the job.
At a campaign event on Friday, Mr Trump, 77, was speaking about the January 6 riot and Ms Haley’s supposed lack of security response as demonstrators stormed the US Capitol. Ms Haley has never been a member of Congress and it appeared as though the former president was referencing Nancy Pelosi, former speaker of the house.
“Nikki Haley is in charge of security,” Mr Trump said at the rally. “We offered her 10,000 people, soldiers, National Guard, whatever they want. They turned it down.”
Even if Ms Haley was serving as the speaker of the house, it wouldn’t have been her responsibility to assess the security response to the incident. That responsibility lies with the Capitol Police Board, which has the ability to accept help from the National Guard.
Responding to the remarks at a campaign event on Saturday, Ms Haley said. “Last night, Trump is at a rally and he’s going on and on mentioning me multiple times as to why I didn’t take security during the Capitol riots,” she said. “Why I didn’t handle January 6 better.
“I wasn’t even in DC on January 6,” the candidate continued. “They’re saying he got confused. That he was talking about something else. He was talking about Nancy Pelosi.”
Still, she added, “He mentioned me multiple times in that scenario.” The presidential candidate continued her speech by emphasising her concerns about Mr Trump’s ability to handle the pressures that come with the office he’s seeking.
“I’m not saying anything derogatory but when you’re dealing with the pressures of a presidency, we can’t have someone else that we question whether they’re mentally fit to do this. We can’t.”
It’s not the first time Mr Trump has confused his political opponents. On Friday, he confused President Joe Biden and former president Barack Obama. Mr Trump has frequently made it a point to discuss Mr Biden’s age. The current president is 81.
“He can’t put two sentences together,” Mr Trump said on Friday. “He needs a teleprompter.”