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Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley speaks at a town hall campaign event, Jan. 2, 2024, in Rye, N.H. (AP) Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley speaks at a town hall campaign event, Jan. 2, 2024, in Rye, N.H. (AP)

Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley speaks at a town hall campaign event, Jan. 2, 2024, in Rye, N.H. (AP)

Maria Briceño
By Maria Briceño January 5, 2024
Maria Ramirez Uribe
By Maria Ramirez Uribe January 5, 2024

Donald Trump ad wrongly describes Nikki Haley’s position on a border wall, travel ban

If Your Time is short

  • Nikki Haley opposed Donald Trump’s 2015 campaign proposal to ban Muslims from entering the U.S. However, she supported travel bans he instituted as president. 

  • Haley didn’t oppose Trump’s border wall. She said a wall was not enough to reduce illegal immigration.

  • As she campaigns for the White House, Haley says she supports building a border wall and banning people from countries with terrorism ties. 

As the New Hampshire primary nears, polls show former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley closing the gap between her and President Donald Trump, her rival for the Republican presidential nomination. Perhaps feeling the pressure, Trump, the GOP front-runner, is airing an ad in New Hampshire that casts him as a strong defender of U.S. borders while portraying Haley as weak.

Ominous music plays as the 30-second ad shows footage of large groups of migrants heading to the border, and families in mourning as a narrator mentions fentanyl deaths. 

"Yet Haley and Biden oppose Trump’s border wall," the narrator said. "Confirmed warnings of terrorists sneaking in through our southern border. Yet Haley joined Biden in opposing Trump’s visitor ban from terrorist nations.

"Haley’s weakness puts us in grave danger. Trump’s strength protects us."

Text on the screen also said: "Haley opposed Trump’s border wall" and "Haley opposed Trump’s travel ban."

The claims about Haley’s positions are wrong. Haley said more was needed to secure the border, but she didn’t oppose Trump’s border wall. She opposed a Muslim travel ban, but supported other iterations of Trump’s travel bans. 

Haley supported a border wall among other security measures

On the border wall portion, the Trump ad cites a February 2023 Time article about Haley’s flip-flops around her former boss. The article linked to a 2015 Washington Post opinion piece about Haley’s remarks at a National Press Club luncheon that year. 

Haley said that securing the border wasn’t just about building a wall.

"Because a wall is not going to do it," she said Sept. 2, 2015. "You’ve got to have commitment of ground troops, equipment, money, all of that to bring it together. Then you’re being serious about tackling illegal immigration."

During an April 2023 trip to the southwest border, Haley praised border fencing she said was installed by the Trump administration, saying more of it is needed.

"It’s a complete lie," Haley said about the Trump ad on Fox News Jan. 5. "First of all I didn’t say I opposed the border wall, I said I opposed just doing a border wall, I said that we have to do more than that."

Haley supported a ban that did not single out people for their religion

As a presidential candidate in 2015, Trump called for a "total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States." 

Haley, then South Carolina’s governor, called Trump’s proposal "an embarrassment" that "defies everything that this country was based on."

The Trump ad cites those comments, ignoring that she supported the travel bans he issued when she was part of his administration. The U.S. Senate approved Haley’s confirmation as U.N. ambassador Jan. 24, 2017.

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Four days later, Trump signed an executive order banning citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the U.S. for 90 days. 

Those seven countries "repeatedly provided support for acts of international terrorism," according to an anti-terrorism law signed by Trump’s predecessor, Barack Obama.

PolitiFact didn’t find any public comments from Haley about the executive order at the time. 

After court challenges, Trump revised that order to exclude Iraq. That new order also exempted U.S. legal permanent residents and people with U.S. visas.

In a March 2017 NBC interview, Haley said she supported the new version.

"It’s not a Muslim ban. I will never support a Muslim ban. I don’t think we should ever ban anyone based on their religion," she said.

After additional court challenges, Trump issued a third version of the travel ban, restricting U.S. entry to people from Chad, North Korea and Venezuela. The Supreme Court in June 2018 upheld this travel ban.

Haley continued to defend the policy in an interview with NDTV that month, saying the executive order was "not a Muslim ban," because not all Muslim-majority countries were on the list and not all countries on the list were Muslim-majority.

"This is about safety. This is about terrorism," Haley said.

Haley’s position is similar years later in this presidential campaign. In response to Trump’s ad, her campaign said that she "supported banning travel for people from countries with serious terrorist activity, but opposed religious tests." 

Our ruling

A Trump ad claimed that Haley "opposed Trump’s border wall" and "Trump’s travel ban."

Haley did not oppose Trump’s border wall. In 2015, she said border security required more than a border wall and that technology, infrastructure and funding were also needed. On the 2024 campaign trail, Haley has said she wants to finish building a border wall.

Haley supported three versions of Trump’s travel bans, saying they were focused on safety, not religion. She opposed a religion-based ban. As a presidential candidate, Haley has said she supports banning entry to people from countries with terrorist activities.

We rate Trump’s claims False.


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Donald Trump ad wrongly describes Nikki Haley’s position on a border wall, travel ban

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