Washington, February 18: Indian-American Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley on Sunday slammed her main primary rival and leading GOP candidate Donald Trump for siding with Russian President Vladimir Putin. In an interview to ABC News, Haley said that Putin is not someone with whom Americans can be friends.

“We need to remind the American people that Vladimir Putin is not our friend. Vladimir Putin is not cool. This is not someone we want to associate with. This is not someone that we want to be friends with. This is not someone that we can trust,” Haley told ABC News in an interview. “When you hear Donald Trump say in South Carolina a week ago that he would encourage Putin to invade our allies if they weren't pulling their weight. That's bone-chilling because all he did in that one moment was empower Putin,” she said. Nikki Haley's Request for Secret Service Protection One Step Away from Final Approval

She said that Putin is someone who kills his political opponents. “All he did in that moment was, he sided with a guy that kills his political opponents, he sided with a thug that arrests American journalists and holds them hostage, and he sided with a guy who wanted to make a point to the Russian people, don't challenge me in the next election or this will happen to you too,” Haley said. “We have to start waking up to what this means. That's why the importance of making sure that Ukraine wins is clear because we have to prevent further war. Right now, Putin is feeling more emboldened than he ever has,” said the former two-term Governor from South Carolina.

Haley also served as US Ambassador to the United Nations for nearly two years under the Trump Administration. Now Haley, 51, is the only one standing between Trump, 77, and him becoming the Republican nominee for the November 4th presidential elections against incumbent President Joe Biden, 81. Over the past few weeks, Haley has been highly critical of Trump alleging that he is siding with Putin.

“It's actually pretty amazing that not only after making those comments that he would encourage Putin to invade NATO, but the fact that he won't acknowledge anything with Navalny. Either he sides with Putin and thinks it's cool that Putin killed one of his political opponents, or he just doesn't think it's that big of a deal. Either one of those is concerning. Either one of those is a problem,” she said. Nikki Haley Stumps in Her Small Hometown of Bamberg Ahead of South Carolina's GOP Primary

“We've got to start seriously having a conversation in America about our national security. We've got to start having a conversation about the fact that there's a war in Europe, there's a war in the Middle East, North Korea's testing intercontinental ballistic missiles capable of hitting the US, China's on the march. You've got Iran who's literally trying to kill our American soldiers and you've got Russians who are doing blinding satellites in space. There's a lot going on,” she said.

Haley said that this was the time to strengthen the alliances of the US. “This is not the time to talk about America hiding in a bubble and not doing anything with the rest of the world. This is a time we should be strengthening our alliances and making sure we're putting up a strong front so that we can prevent further wars from happening,” Haley said. The Republican politician alleged that the US has become more isolationist under Biden.

“At no point has he had a conversation with him with the American people about the terrorist activity that's happening with Israel and why Iran is so dangerous. At no point is he talking about the threats of China. And when you don't talk about those things with the American people, they're going to distance themselves from it,” she said. Biden has failed on that front, she alleged.

“That has emboldened our enemies. That's why you see them moving. It happened after the fall of Afghanistan. It is continuing to happen. Then they go and they see the other opponent running for president and they see that he doesn't worry about Putin invading Ukraine. So, what does Putin do? He goes and now he's starting to put soldiers around the Baltics. He's moving in for the next era,” she said.

“Let's remind the American people that Putin said once he takes Ukraine, Poland and the Baltics are next. Now he is putting soldiers around those countries, just like he did Ukraine. And if that happens, those are NATO countries. That immediately puts America at war. That is what we are trying to avoid. And that's why this aid package is so important,” Haley said.

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