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Nikki Haley releases her delegates to support Donald Trump at the RNC next week

Nikki Haley releases her delegates to support Donald Trump at the RNC next week

FILE – Former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley speaks in Washington, May 22, 2024. Haley is releasing the delegates she won in this year’s Republican primary so they can support Donald Trump at the party’s convention next week. Haley opted Tuesday, July 9, to release her 97 delegates, which she won in a dozen primaries and caucuses earlier this year. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen, File)

(AP) — Nikki Haley is releasing the delegates she won in this year’s Republican primary so they can support Donald Trump at the party’s convention next week, a move intended to help solidify Republican support for the party’s presumptive nominee.

On Tuesday, Haley decided to announce her 97 delegates, which she won in a dozen primaries and caucuses earlier this year, according to her former campaign team.

In a statement, the former South Carolina governor and UN ambassador called for party unity at the upcoming Republican National Convention in Milwaukee. She also called Democratic President Joe Biden “unfit to serve a second term” and said that Vice President Kamala Harris – who Haley has repeatedly suggested could become president in Biden’s place – “would be a disaster for America.”

“We need a president who will hold our enemies accountable, secure our borders, reduce our debt and get our economy back on track,” Haley said. “I encourage my delegates to support Donald Trump next week in Milwaukee.”

According to spokesman Chaney Denton, Haley will not be in Milwaukee next week.

“She wasn’t invited and that’s fine with her,” Denton said. “Trump deserves the convention he wants. She’s made it clear she’ll vote for him and wishes him the best.”

Haley was the last major Republican rival to Trump when she suspended her own campaign after Trump’s victory on Super Tuesday, accusing him of creating chaos and disregarding the importance of American alliances abroad.

Trump, for his part, repeatedly mocked her with the nickname “bird brain,” but scaled back those attacks after winning enough delegates in March to likely become the Republican nominee.

Trump’s campaign team did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Haley’s move, which was first reported by Politico.

The Republican National Committee follows each state’s rules on the delegates promised to candidates who drop out of the race, so it will be a patchwork of state-by-state rules that determine exactly what Haley’s delegates will be done with.

Biden’s campaign has tried to win over supporters they see as true swing voters, but Haley said in May she would cast her vote for Trump, leaving the former president to seek support from her supporters.