Former President Trump doubled down on mocking GOP primary challenger Nikki Haley’s birth name, saying that the nickname just “came” to him.
Fox News’s Bret Baier asked Trump in an interview that aired Sunday why he mocked Haley’s birth name on social media last week by repeatedly calling her “Nimbra.” Trump said that he gives nicknames to many people, suggesting that it is a useful strategy for him while he is on the campaign trail.
“I do that with a lot of people, like Hutchinson. I mean, he was polling at zero for about one year, and I called him rather than Asa, I called him Ada Hutchinson, and it just felt good to me. And with her, it’s just something that came. It’s a little bit of a takeoff on her name. You know, her name, wherever she may come from,” Trump said.
Haley, the daughter of immigrants from India, was born in South Carolina as Nimarata Nikki Randhawa. She has always gone by her middle name, “Nikki.” Last week, Trump took to Truth Social to call her “Nimbra” numerous times while on the attack against her.
“Some people say I’m very good at that, but, uh, I can’t get into too many because many of those people that I named like that are Republicans, and we don’t want to bring that up, but, uh, no, it’s just, uh, it’s a takeoff. I have fun with it. And sometimes, to tell you the truth, it’s a very effective tool,” Trump told Baier, speaking of giving people nicknames.
In response to Trump’s latest insults, Haley said the former president uses nicknames because he is “insecure.” She also added that Trump feels “threatened” by her just days before the GOP primary in New Hampshire, where Haley has been gaining on Trump in recent weeks.
Trump dismissed Haley’s comments that he was threatened by her in his interview with Baier, which aired on “Fox News Sunday” and “MediaBuzz” on Sunday.
“You know, you’re talking like, oh, gee, we’re concerned with her. I’m not concerned with her at all. I think we’re going to win very big here. We won extremely big in Iowa,” he said.
Trump has an 11 point lead over Haley in New Hampshire with about 47 percent of support, according to The Hill/Decision Desk HQ polling averages. Haley follows with about 36 percent of support, and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis trails with nearly 6 percent.