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Trump and Haley still have not spoken despite public thawing

By Steve Contorno and Kristen Holmes, CNN

(CNN) — Despite the public thawing in their rivalry this week, Donald Trump and Nikki Haley still have yet to speak, two sources close to the former president told CNN, continuing a stalemate that has lasted since their race ended.

The lack of formal communication is illustrative of the deep rift that emerged from the Republican presidential primary contest and the ongoing divide over who must be first to mend fences. One source familiar with the former president’s thinking told CNN that “their relationship remains chilled” in the aftermath of their hard-fought race.

Haley on Wednesday appeared to take the first step toward a reconciliation. In a highly anticipated speech in Washington, DC, the former South Carolina governor said she will vote for Trump — her first public remarks on the former president since dropping out of the race in March.

Haley said Trump “has not been perfect” on policies important to her, including foreign policy, immigration and the economy, but President Joe Biden “has been a catastrophe.”

“So I will be voting for Trump,” said Haley, who served as US ambassador to the United Nations under the former president.

Still, she stopped short of offering an endorsement, just as she did when she ended her campaign.

Trump on Thursday welcomed Haley’s support, but declined to elaborate on what role she could play in helping the Republican ticket this November.

“I think she’s gonna be on our team, because we have a lot of the same ideas, the same thoughts,” Trump said in an interview with News12 at his rally in the Bronx. “I appreciated what she said, you know, we had a nasty campaign. It was pretty nasty, but she’s a very capable person, and I’m sure she’s going to be on our team in some form. Absolutely.”

Many Republicans would like to see Haley play an active role in the Trump campaign, including as a potential vice presidential candidate.

South Carolina Rep. Ralph Norman told CNN he had pitched the idea to both Trump and Haley and argued to the former president that Haley can carry moderates and independents, given how she continues to draw voters in primaries after exiting the race in March.

Trump all but squashed that idea on Truth Social, posting, “Nikki Haley is not under consideration for the V.P. slot, but I wish her well!”

Haley emerged from the 2024 Republican primary as the former president’s last-standing opponent. In her farewell address in Charleston, Haley congratulated Trump and wished him well but added that it was up to him “to earn the votes of those in our party and beyond it who did not support him.”

“And I hope he does that,” she said.

Within Haley’s orbit, few see evidence Trump has made any such outreach.

Meanwhile, Haley continues to win a significant share of the vote in primary contests long after she dropped out of the race, including 17% of the vote last month in Pennsylvania, a critical general election battleground. She also won about 22% of the vote in Indiana’s primary earlier this month, a surprising result in a traditionally red state.

Meanwhile, Trump’s team remains adamant that it’s up to Haley to initiate a detente, just as other Republican challengers have done.

“When you lose the battle or the war, you generally have to make the outreach, and that’s just the nature of the campaign business,” a Trump adviser previously told CNN.

This story has been updated with additional reporting.

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