April 20, 2024

Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley warned that former President Trump is using the Republican National Committee (RNC) to pay for his legal fees, and will continue to do so if reelected.

“My biggest issues is, I don’t want the RNC to become, you know, his legal defense fund,” Haley told CNN’s Kaitlan Collins Friday evening. “I don’t want the RNC to become his piggy bank for his personal court cases.”

Haley’s comments came just hours after a New York judge ordered Trump to pay more than $355 million for conspiring to alter his net worth to receive tax and insurance benefits. Weeks before, a different New York judge ordered Trump to pay $83.3 million for defaming columnist E. Jean Carroll after he denied sexually assaulting her.

According to federal election filings released last month, Trump’s fundraising committees spent nearly $30 million in legal fees during the second half of 2023, a sum reflecting how much financial strain his reelection efforts are under, as he balances several expensive legal battles.

Haley, Trump’s only remaining challenger in the GOP primary, argued Trump is trying to “get control” of the RNC so that he can “continue to not have to pay his own legal fees.”

The former South Carolina Governor continued, arguing that if the RNC is focused on funding Trump’s legal fees, it isn’t going to be channeling money into winning House and Senate elections for the Republican Party. She added that the “RNC is practically broke now, anyways.”

Haley said she is concerned about Trump’s involvement in selecting leadership members for the committee.

“He’s trying to control the RNC after the fact that he tried to get me out of the race so that he could be the presumptive nominee,” she said, highlighted by Mediaite. “All of that is so that he has an arm to pay his legal fees.”

“That’s the fear that every Republican should have, because we won’t win anything if he goes down that path,” Haley said.

Trump and Haley will face off in the South Carolina primary next Saturday, Feb. 24.

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