Donald Trump has started to refer to his lone remaining rival for the GOP nomination as “Nimbra” to mock the birth name of Nikki Haley. While Haley has always gone by her middle name of “Nikki,” her full birth name is Nimarata Nikki Randhawa (she added the last name Haley when she got married). On Sunday, he defended the decision to deliberately make fun of Haley’s name to Fox News’ Bret Baier, explaining, “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,” he said — while he hasn’t fully explained the use of that nickname, it appears to be used to call him weak while referring to the Americans with Disabilities Act. “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, but it’s just a little bit of a takeoff.”
Haley was born in South Carolina. She is the daughter of Ajit Singh Randhawa and Raj Kaur Randhawa, who both immigrated to the United States from India. Even though Trump is both a son and grandson of immigrants and has been married to two women who immigrated to the United States, the casual racism behind mocking a name unsurprisingly seemed lost on him.
Trump added, “I look at her name, I look at a lot of people and I do a lot of names for people like ‘Pocahontas,'” his nickname for Sen. Elizabeth Warren. “She said, ‘My mother said I look like an Indian,’ so I started calling her Pocahontas. Some people say I’m very good at that, but 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 now it’s just, it’s a takeoff. I have fun with it.”
Trump began calling Warren “Pocahontas” in 2018 in response to her claim that her family had American Indian ancestry.
Elsewhere in the interview, Trump defended his decision to label Haley a “globalist fool.” Baier said to Trump, “When you said yesterday that she was a globalist fool — you know, back when she was your U.N. Ambassador, you did praise her quite a bit in that job, even when she was leaving that job. So, she pushes back and refers to those times.”
Trump replied, “Well, look, she is a globalist, I’ve always known that about her. And our country cannot be globalist. We don’t even have that choice anymore. We owe $35 trillion, and we have to take care of ourselves first.”
Mocking her name isn’t the only racist attack Trump has launched at Haley. He’s also claimed that Haley isn’t eligible to run for president because her parents were not U.S. citizens when she was born, an echo of his long-running “birther” claims against President Barack Obama a decade ago. Haley is a U.S. citizen, and is eligible to run for the office (just like Obama was).
On Friday, Haley told reporters in New Hampshire that she’s not concerned about Trump’s most recent attempt to derail her. She said, “I’ll let people decide what he means by his attacks. What we know is, look, he’s clearly insecure if he goes and does these temper tantrums, if he’s spending millions of dollars on TV. He’s insecure, he knows that something’s wrong.”
Our Granite State report: I asked Nikki Haley if she thought Trump's attacks on her were racist. "I'll let people decide what he means by his attacks," she said. "What we know is, look, he's clearly insecure."
w/ @cmaioCBS https://t.co/MAG1yix7xw
— Caitlin Huey-Burns (@CHueyBurns) January 20, 2024
Watch the Fox News segment in the video at the top of this story.