Nikki Haley says she’ll vote for Trump, notwithstanding ‘birdbrain’ insult

Nikki Haley says she will vote for Donald Trump, who nicknamed her “birdbrain” when they competed for the Republican presidential nomination at the start of the year.

The former South Carolina governor confirmed she would support her former opponent while speaking about national security and foreign policy at the Hudson Institute in Washington, D.C.

“Trump has not been perfect on these policies,” Haley said Wednesday. “I’ve made that clear many, many times.”

The pol explained she still prefers her party’s presumptive nominee to Democratic incumbent Joe Biden in November’s election.

“So I will be voting for Trump,” she said.

Haley stopped short of endorsing Trump, whom she encouraged to reach out to her supporters Wednesday.

“Trump would be smart to reach out to the millions of people who voted for me and continue to support me and not assume that they’re just going to be with him,” she said.

Haley got more than 20% of the GOP vote in Indiana’s Republican primary earlier this month, even though she dropped out of the presidential race on March 6 with “no regrets.”

There’s been speculation that Haley, who served as the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations under Trump, might be angling to be his running mate as he pursues a return to the White House.

Trump appeared to put that buzz to rest days after she withdrew from the race.

“Nikki Haley is not under consideration for the V.P. slot,” he posted on Truth Social. “But I wish her well!”

Trump’s former Vice President Mike Pence said he will not endorse his former boss, whose rhetoric inspired an angry mob to descend on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. Some yelled, “Hang Mike Pence!” because he wouldn’t help the former president stay in power after Biden won the election.

Trump’s race against Haley got chippy at times.

Haley referred to her opponent as “unhinged” and “diminished” in February. Trump implied Haley’s husband, a National Guardsman who deployed overseas, didn’t want to be with his wife.

“Where is he?” Trump asked in Haley’s native state of South Carolina. “He’s gone. He knew.”