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Former White House Aide Reveals Trump Considered Switching Running Mates In 2020

The former Special Advisor to Donald Trump and Press Secretary to Vice President Mike Pence has revealed in a podcast this week, that Trump considered asking ex-governor of South Carolina, Nikki Haley, to join his ticket in 2020.

Alyssa Farah Griffin, co-host of ABC’s The View, has disclosed in the talk show’s ‘The View: Behind the Table’ podcast this week (January 18) that whilst serving in the former president’s administration, she was asked by Donald Trump “what do you think if we replace Mike with Nikki Haley”.

According to Farah Griffin, this conversation occurred “around June 2020” when Covid-19 was everywhere, and social justice protests were happening all over the US. In a “back dining room off the Oval” along with “then White House press secretary, Kayleigh McEnany”, the former president made his proposal before adding “Jared really wants me to” referring to his son-in-law and senior advisor, Jared Kushner.

Describing herself as “then very close with Pence”, Farah Griffin remembers having “quickly chimed in”, telling Trump to “stick with what’s steady, stick with what you know” in an attempt to put him off the idea. She advised that he did not “want to signal chaos or desperation” by making the switch at this point in the race.

The View co-host said it spoke to “what bad shape he was in in 2020” but also to the talents of Nikki Haley, “who he is now scorching” by saying “she’s not tough enough, she’s not qualified, she’s a globalist rhino”. Farah Griffin also revealed Trump “also knows he lost the election” which has been up for debate before.

In a perhaps surprising twist, the former special advisor to the president disclosed that “no one was a bigger fan of Nikki Haley’s than Donald Trump” right up to the end of the 2020 election. She then considered whether Biden’s “historic ticket” with Kamala Harris ultimately encouraged Trump to also run with a woman.

The 34-year-old former Deputy Assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Media Affairs and the Press Secretary for the Department of Defense, served for two years under the Trump administration. As a senior advisor, she assisted on all matters related to press, communications, and the media on domestic and international affairs for the Vice President.

Farah Griffin resigned in early December 2020, after Trump’s claims that the 2020 election had been stolen. Following the January 6, 2021 insurrection at the Capitol in Washington D.C., the former advisor was among the first from his administration to speak out against Donald Trump and publicly condemn and denounce him for his part that day.

Since her resignation, she has been very outspoken on the former president, especially during her latest role as a co-host on the ABC talk show, The View. Alongside her co-hosts, Whoopi Goldberg, Joy Behar, Sunny Hostin, Sara Haines and Ana Navarro-Cárdenas, Farah Griffin has repeatedly used her new platform to expose Donald Trump.  

At the end of December 2023, Farah Griffin sat down with Chief Washington Correspondent for ABC News, Jonathan Karl, alongside her former colleagues Cassidy Hutchinson and Sarah Matthews, to discuss Trump’s chances in the 2024 election. Farah Griffin argued “fundamentally a second Trump term could mean the end of American democracy as we know it”.

In the interview she recalled, “we all witnessed him trying to steal a democratic election and go to historic and unconstitutional lengths to do so”. The co-host said it showed how far the former president was willing to go to “basically break every barrier to get into power and to stay in power”. She also expressed concern about what another Trump term would look like.

On his campaign trail, Trump has said Nikki Haley “has no chance” of becoming the 2024 Republican nominee and his MAGA followers will not support her. After his success in Iowa earlier this week (January 15) Trump has increased his attacks on Haley ahead of the New Hampshire primaries starting on January 23. He said the former governor of South Carolina could not “handle the onslaught” that comes with being a presidential nominee.

Trump also took to Truth Social calling his rival “Nikki ‘Nimrada’ Haley” to mock her Indian name ‘Nimarata’. He said she “couldn’t even beat a very flawed Ron DeSanctimonious” after she came third to the Floridian governor in Iowa this week. The former president concluded there was nothing Haley could do to beat him.

Haley responded to Trump’s attacks during a CNN town hall where she criticised both the former and current president and said “we don’t need to have our options be two 80-year-olds running for president” when America has “too many issues” due to them both. She has previously called for term limits and described Congress as “the most privileged nursing home in the country”.

The View co-host later predicted on the podcast’s episode titled ‘Alyssa Farah Griffin’s Hot Take On Trump’s Faith & Evangelical Support’, that she predicted Trump would select former White House Press Secretary and governor of Arkansas, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, as his VP pick. Farah Griffin believes he will not choose “somebody fringy, like a Tucker Carlson or a Kari Lake”. Relating her experience with Huckabee Sanders, Farah Griffin said she had that charm, being from the South and as a pastor’s daughter, to ultimately be very popular with Trump supporters.

But she did recognise that “it’s Trump, so things could always change”. 

Edited by: Kaiyah Ellison

Photo credit: Getty Images/BBC News


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