Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo claims in his forthcoming memoir that former UN ambassador Nikki Haley conspired with former President Donald Trump’s daughter Ivanka and son-in-law Jared Kushner to try to become Trump’s vice president, according to an excerpt of the book obtained. by CNN.
Pompeo, in his book “Never Give an Inch: Fighting for the America I Love,” takes several photos of possible 2024 Republican challengers, including Haley and former national security adviser John Bolton, as the former Kansas congressman and director of the CIA fuels speculation about his own presidential ambitions.
Pompeo writes that John Kelly, Trump’s chief of staff at the time, told him that Haley had scheduled a meeting with the president to discuss what she said was a personal matter and then went to the Oval Office meeting with Kushner and Ivanka Trump. who were serving as senior advisers to the White House.
“As far as Kelly could tell, they were putting forward a possible ‘Haley for Vice President’ option. I can’t confirm it, but he was sure that he had been tricked and he wasn’t happy about it. Clearly, this visit did not reflect a team effort, but rather undermined our work for America,” Pompeo writes in his book.
CNN has reached out to Kelly for comment on Pompeo’s claim.
Haley refuted Pompeo’s allegations on Thursday, saying he “never had a conversation with Jared, Ivanka or the president about the vice presidency.”
“Pompeo even says he’s not sure if it’s true,” the former South Carolina governor told Fox News, dismissing the claim as “gossip” and saying “there’s nothing true about it.”
“What I will tell you is that it is very sad when you have to go out there and put lies and gossip to sell a book,” Haley said. “I don’t know why he said it, but that’s exactly why I stayed out of DC as much as I could: to get away from the drama and gossip.
But a White House source at the time backed Pompeo’s claim, adding more context by recalling how Kushner and Ivanka Trump were pushing Haley to be secretary of state to succeed Rex Tillerson, who had opposed Kushner leaving. involved in foreign relations too often and in ways Tillerson disagreed with.
But the president was not enamored with the idea and went with Pompeo, who he understood better and liked better, the source said.
After that change, Trump began speaking negatively about his vice president, Mike Pence, whom he thought was too often trying to talk him into backing down with controversial statements or actions. Kushner and Ivanka Trump began putting pressure on Haley again, the source said. Kelly tried to talk the president out of it, arguing that Pence had helped him win over evangelical Christian voters in 2016. Kelly was surprised, the source said, that Pence would last until the 2020 election.
Pompeo, whose book is due to be published next week, is also scathing in his assessment of Bolton, who has said he could launch a presidential bid to prevent Trump from getting a second term in office.
Pompeo takes issue with Bolton’s 2020 book “The Room Where It Happened: White House Memoirs” and claims Trump’s former national security adviser released classified information and should be prosecuted.
“Their self-serving stories contained classified information and deeply sensitive details about conversations involving a acting commander-in-chief,” Pompeo writes. “That’s the very definition of treason.”
“John Bolton should be in jail for disclosing classified information. I hope one day to be able to testify in a criminal trial as a prosecution witness,” Pompeo writes.
When Bolton wrote the book, there was a great deal of controversy over the book’s security reviews prior to publication.
“My book was fully approved in the pre-publication review process by the NSC’s senior career director, whose home agency was the National Archives,” Bolton told CNN in response to Pompeo’s claims.
“Pompeo’s comments tell you more about his character than about my book,” he added.
Trump remains the only declared candidate in the 2024 presidential election, but several Republicans have signaled that they could enter the race. CNN has reported that President Joe Biden plans to launch his reelection campaign sometime after his State of the Union address, which is scheduled for February 7.