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Haley offers sharpest criticism of Trump yet, saying he is ‘toxic’ and lacks ‘moral clarity’

<i>Matt Kelley/AP</i><br/>
Matt Kelley/AP

By Ebony Davis, CNN

(CNN) — Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley offered her sharpest criticism to date of former President Donald Trump in an interview on “The Breakfast Club,” saying he’s “just toxic” and that he lacks “moral clarity.”

Haley, in a pre-taped interview with Charlamagne tha God that aired Wednesday morning, was asked how the former president has changed politics.

“He’s made it chaotic. He’s made it self-absorbed. He’s made people dislike and judge each other. He’s left that a president should have moral clarity, and know the difference between right or wrong, and he’s just toxic,” she said.

“I think a lot of the things he broke needed to be broken, but he doesn’t know how to fix things again, and it’s not okay to just break you got to fix it, make it better. And he hasn’t done that,” she continued.

The former South Carolina governor’s comments come as she seeks a path forward in the 2024 presidential race amid pressure to drop out after losing the first two contests of the Republican primary cycle to Trump.

In the interview, Haley explained that moral clarity isn’t about “being a moral person,” but instead “just knowing the difference between right and wrong. Knowing the difference of should you call a group of people a name or not.”

Haley, who served as Trump’s ambassador to the United Nations, also critiqued him for some aspects from his time in the White House.

“What I think he did right was one he broke some things that needed to be broken. I think those were important breaking the bureaucracy and getting things to move in a way that people started talking about them again, I think was important. I think the other thing that he did was he really tapped into a group that felt unheard and unseen,” she said.

“The unheard and unseen are people like where I grew up in Bamberg, South Carolina. Those people who work hard every day. They don’t have a lot of time for politics, but they take care of their family, but that they felt unheard and unseen, and he tapped into that,” she continued.

Asked if the process of running for president is “worth it,” Haley quickly responded: “Yes, because we have a country to save, and I am not going to stop until we do this. I know in my soul I’m supposed to be doing this. I know it.”

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