Former South Carolina governor Nikki Haley
Former South Carolina governor Nikki Haley speaks to members of the press after the third Republicad debate on November 8, 2023. AFP

Nikki Haley, a major candidate for the Republican presidential nomination, launched a scathing attack on Wednesday against former president Donald Trump over his behind-the-scenes effort to twist delegate and primary rules to his advantage in the 2024 Republican nomination race.

"It's ironic for somebody who claims the election was stolen from him — he's now showing that he's willing to bully his way to win this election," Haley said. She further pointed out that Trump's relentless desire to secure the nomination stemmed from his need "to get off all these court issues that he's dealing with."

Haley, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, urged Americans to see through Trump's tactics, The New York Times reported.

Haley's allegations against Trump comes as the former South Carolina governor faced a disappointing outcome in the Nevada primary, finishing second to "None of These Candidates" on the ballot.

The primary, in which Trump chose not to compete, brought forth a surprising result that challenged Haley's position within the party.

Hoping to topple front-runner Trump from his perch atop the Republican nomination contest, Haley also unleashed her frustration on her own party through a social media post on X, formerly Twitter, on Wednesday.

Adopting a sharp and combative tone, she spared no punches in criticizing Republicans as a whole, blaming them for the chaos that now surrounds them.

"Republicans keep doing the same thing and getting the same result: chaos. That's the definition of insanity," Haley tweeted on X.

She accused the Republican National Committee of "imploding," the GOP House of Representatives of being unable to pass any significant legislation, and Trump of losing yet another court case and engaging in temperamental outbursts.

"A vote for Trump is a vote for more chaos," Haley added.

Meanwhile, Trump previously urged voters to ignore the Nevada primary as he was not on the Republican ballot. Trump and his team in Nevada have been rallying voters for weeks to participate in the separate Republican caucus, which awards delegates to the party's nominating convention.

During a Nevada rally on January 27, Trump told his supporters, "Your primary vote doesn't mean anything. Just do the caucus thing."

John Ashbrook, a Republican strategist who has no association with any campaign this year said, "Everybody knows Trump's supporters are loyal. But Nevada's primary demonstrated they're also incredibly motivated to vote."

Throughout her campaign, Haley consistently criticized Trump's handling of the border security deal, denouncing the delays as irresponsible and urging Congress to pass relevant legislation promptly.

It remains to be seen how Haley's strategic choices and her staunch opposition to Trump's leadership will impact her chances in the upcoming primaries.