While most of former President Donald J. Trump’s Republican rivals have closed ranks around him following his indictment in the classified documents case, two of them – Nikki Haley and Tim Scott – have begun to move away from exposing the Department of Justice.
In a FoxNews interview On Monday, Ms. Haley, the former governor of South Carolina who served as ambassador to the United Nations under Trump, continued to argue that the Justice Department and the FBI had lost credibility with the American people, but she also acknowledged the seriousness of the allegations against Trump.
« Two things may be true at the same time, » Ms. Haley said, adding that if the allegation were accurate, « President Trump has been incredibly reckless with our national security. »
Ms. Haley’s initial statement on Friday, a day after Mr. Trump was federally indicted, was a tireless defense of her former boss.
« This is not how justice should be pursued in our country, » he said at the time Chirping. « The American people are jaded by prosecution exaggeration, double standards, and the politics of revenge. »
Mr. Scott, a senator also from South Carolina and, like Ms. Haley, trails Mr. Trump significantly in Republican polls, likewise changed his tune.
During a campaign appearance Monday in Spartanburg, SC, Mr. Scott acknowledged the seriousness of the allegations against Mr. Trump as he accused the Justice Department and President Biden of targeting Republicans for prosecution.
He described it as a « serious case with serious allegations, » according to The post and the courier Charleston, SC newspaper
But in Mr. Scott’s initial reaction on Thursday, Hon Fox Newshe focused solely on the claim that the Justice Department had become weaponized against Republicans.
“Today what we see is a justice system where scales are weighted,” Mr. Scott said at the time.
Their positions are still a far cry from another 2024 contender, former Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey, who has been trying to position himself as the candidate most willing to attack Trump.
Mr. Christie addressed Mr. Trump again during a CNN town hall event Monday night, calling him « angry » and « vindictive » and saying he believed the allegation was « a very tight, very detailed, loaded with trials, and the conduct in there is awful.