In an interview with Fox News anchor Bret Baier last Sunday, Donald Trump was forced to defend making fun of GOP presidential rival Nikki Haley’s Indian name.
In a recent Truth Social post, Trump repeatedly referred to Haley as “Nimbra,” in what appeared to be a lazy shortening of her first name Nimarata.
The former president was attacking New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu for endorsing Haley in the primary, saying he was “beating his endorsed candidate, Nimbra, by big numbers.”
Trump blasted Sununu for registered Democrats being allowed to vote in the state’s GOP primary, adding that Democrats voting wouldn’t matter “because Nimbra doesn’t have what it takes.”
He mockingly said he hoped that the governor’s “endorsement of Nimbra” would be more effective than Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds’ endorsement of Ron DeSantis.
Trump has frequently slammed Haley for her Indian heritage. In a Truth Social post in early January, Trump promoted a conspiracy theory published in a Trump-supporting blog that claimed Haley was ineligible to run for president because her parents were not citizens at the time of her birth.
During an interview that aired on “Fox News Sunday,” Trump told Bret Baier that “Nimbra” was just “a little bit of a takeoff” on Haley’s first name, “wherever she may come from.”
When pressed by Baier about what he meant by that, Trump said he was just doing a “takeoff” of Haley’s name, explaining that he does that with “a lot of people.” As an example, Trump cited his “Pocahontas” nickname for Elizabeth Warren. He said he was having “fun with it” and suggested that the nicknames could be “a very effective tool.”
During a recent CNN town hall, Haley was asked by host Jake Tapper about Trump referring to her as “Nimbra.”
Haley suggested that Trump uses name-calling whenever he “feels threatened” and “insecure.”
She said she didn’t take things like that personally, adding that she wouldn’t get into name-calling with Trump but instead would “continue to focus on the things that people want to talk about.”