Nikki Haley Accused Of Tricking Voters?

Gage Skidmore from Surprise, AZ, United States of America, CC BY-SA 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

( – Nikki Haley, the former U.N. Ambassador and current Republican presidential hopeful, recently faced criticism for allegedly providing a deceptive narrative at a town hall meeting about the transaction of South Carolina land to Chinese interests during her term as governor.

Glenn Kessler, the dedicated fact-checker from the left-leaning Washington Post, gave Haley the highest deceit rating – “four Pinocchios” – for her perceived evasion of a direct question from an attendee. The individual had questioned an online claim about Haley granting extensive land parcels in South Carolina to China, to which she replied by cautioning against online misinformation, denying any land sales to China, and acknowledging her role in bringing a Chinese fiberglass firm to the state.

However, Kessler challenged Haley’s narrative. He detailed how, during her governorship from 2011 to 2017, Haley actively courted Chinese investments, which saw a significant increase from $308 million in 2011 to almost $670 million in 2015. Kessler acknowledged that evolving political stances are acceptable but accused Haley of dishonesty and evasion in her town hall answer, especially considering her current tough-on-China campaign rhetoric, which mirrors growing bipartisan concern over China’s global conduct.

He further accused Haley of deliberately obscuring the truth, noting that she deflected a question she hadn’t been asked. He highlighted that the deal with the fiberglass firm, China Jushi, involved no land sale because nearly 200 acres were given to the company at no cost, contingent upon pledged investments.

Kessler emphasized that during Haley’s term, around 1,500 acres were transferred to Chinese entities, often through sales. He also pointed out China Jushi’s close ties to the Chinese Communist Party and referenced Haley’s past enthusiasm about the firm’s investment in her state, which promised 400 jobs and a $300 million investment, as she had celebrated on social media.

At the town hall, Haley justified her actions, drawing attention to the ubiquitous nature of Chinese investments and products in the U.S. and differentiating between actions that compromise national security and those that bring business, like the fiberglass firm, to her state.

Kessler criticized Haley’s attempt to claim the success of attracting the business without owning up to the specifics, and he documented several other instances of land acquired by Chinese firms in South Carolina during Haley’s governorship.

Despite requests for a response, the Haley campaign refrained from addressing the comments directly but issued a statement highlighting the extensive Chinese commercial presence in the U.S. The statement differentiated between security-threatening activities like technology theft and land acquisition near military installations, and other forms of investments like the one in the glass manufacturing sector. It concluded by asserting Haley’s profound understanding of the multifaceted threats posed by China and her commitment to safeguarding American interests.

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