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Haley questions Trump’s mental fitness after he confuses her with Pelosi

By Jake Beardslee · January 21, 2024

In brief…

  • Haley questions Trump's mental fitness after he confuses her with Pelosi
  • Trump falsely claimed Haley oversaw Capitol security on January 6
  • Haley has called for cognitive testing of politicians over 75
  • The two campaigns have spent millions on ads before New Hampshire primary
Nikki Haley questioned Donald Trump's mental acuity.  U.S. Mission to the United Nations/Wikimedia

Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley questioned Donald Trump’s mental fitness on Saturday after the former president confused her with Nancy Pelosi during a rally speech.

Trump was criticizing security efforts around the January 6, 2021 attack on the Capitol when he invoked Haley’s name multiple times, claiming she was “in charge of security” and turned down military assistance.

“Last night, Trump is at a rally and he’s going on and on mentioning me several times as to why I didn’t take security during the Capitol riots. Why I didn’t handle January 6 better,” Haley told supporters in Keene, New Hampshire. “I wasn’t even in DC on January 6. I wasn’t in office then.”

She added: “They’re saying he got confused. That he was talking about something else. That he was talking about Nancy Pelosi. He mentioned me multiples times in that scenario.”

The former South Carolina governor said she was not making any “derogatory” statements about Trump’s mental state. “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 it,” she said.

Trump’s claims about Haley’s supposed responsibility for Capitol security are false. As speaker of the House, Pelosi does not oversee security for the Capitol complex.

Haley has repeatedly called for cognitive testing of politicians over 75, a category that includes both Trump, 77, and President Joe Biden, 81. She told voters on Saturday: “We see that Biden has changed so much in two years. But last night, Trump is at a rally and he’s going on and on mentioning me multiple times.”

Trump campaign adviser Chris LaCivita dismissed the former president’s gaffe, saying on social media: “Nancy…Nikki…it’s a distinction without a difference.”

The incident comes amid an expensive advertising battle between Haley and Trump in New Hampshire ahead of Tuesday’s primary. Haley has spent nearly $29 million on ads in the state, while Trump has spent around $14 million.

Trump criticized Haley repeatedly during the Concord rally, calling her “a globalist fool” and rejecting her as a potential running mate. He also boasted about acing a recent cognitive test, saying: “I’ll let you know when I go bad; I really think I’ll be able to tell you.”