Updated Feb 25, 2024 - Politics & Policy

Koch network halts funding Haley's campaign

Republican presidential candidate, former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley, speaks at a campaign event at Clemson University at Greenville on February 20, 2024 in Greenville, South Carolina.

Republican presidential candidate, former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley, at a campaign event in Greenville, South Carolina, last week. Photo: Allison Joyce/Getty Images

A political network founded by the Koch brothers said Sunday it's suspending funding for Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley's campaign, one day after her South Carolina primary loss to former President Trump.

Why it matters: Americans for Prosperity Action has spent millions backing the former UN ambassador's campaign in an attempt to prevent Trump from clinching the Republican Party's presidential nomination.

  • But AFP CEO Emily Seidel wrote in a memo to staff, first obtained by Politico, that given "the challenges in the primary states ahead, we don't believe any outside group can make a material difference to widen her path to victory."
  • Seidel noted that after the South Carolina primary this weekend and with "the Senate engagement really heating up, it's time to take stock of where we are and — as we always do — make sure we're optimizing our resources for maximum impact towards our goals."

Zoom in: AFP will continue to endorse Haley, but it will focus its resources where it "can make the difference" — in key Senate and House races, per Seidel.

  • "If Donald Trump is at the top of the Republican ticket, the risk of one-party rule by a Democratic Party captured by the Progressive Left is severe and would do irreparable damage to the country," Seidel said.
  • Seidel said the past three elections had shown "what we can expect from voters who consistently rejected Donald Trump and his impact on the Republican party brand."
  • She added "we should expect this to increase further" as Trump's criminal indictments progressed through the courts.

What they're saying: Haley's campaign in a statement to media thanked AFP for its "tremendous help" during the race.

  • "Our fight continues, and with more than $1 million coming in from grass-roots conservatives in just the last 24 hours, we have plenty of fuel to keep going. We have a country to save," the statement added.

The other side: Trump wrote in a post on his Truth Social platform after the announcement that billionaire Charles Koch, who founded AFP with his late brother David Koch, and his group "GOT PLAYED FOR SUCKERS RIGHT FROM THE BEGINNING!"

Go deeper: Defiant Haley won't quit GOP primary after South Carolina

Editor's note: This article has been updated with comment from former President Trump.

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