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Nikki Haley sits down for ‘exit interview’ with fellow SC native Craig Melvin ‘Today’

This screenshot shows S.C. natives Nikki Haley and Craig Melvin during an interview for the “Today” show.
This screenshot shows S.C. natives Nikki Haley and Craig Melvin during an interview for the “Today” show. Twitter

Update — here’s what Haley had to say in the interview:

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Tune into the “Today” show Wednesday morning to see two former Midlands resident sharing the screen.

Columbia native Craig Melvin, a weekday anchor on NBC’s morning program, will interview recent Lexington resident Nikki Haley.

The former South Carolina governor is doing her first interview since announcing in October that she is stepping down as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations at the end of the year, according to “Today.”

In a tweet, Melvin called the sit down Haley’s “exit interview.” He teased that the Q&A session will include topics such as her possible successor, Russia, North Korea, the assassination of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, her future plans and what it is like working in the Trump Administration.



During the prerecorded interview with Melvin, formerly an anchor on WIS, Haley said she used President Donald Trump’s unpredictable nature to her advantage. The “Today” show shared a clip of the exchange on Twitter.

“If I needed to pick up the phone and say ‘this is what I’m going to do, you know are you good with this?’ “ Haley said. “We kind of partnered in that. And so he would like, ratchet up the rhetoric, and then I would go back to the ambassadors and say ‘you know he’s pretty upset. I can’t promise you what he’s going to do, or not. But I can tell you if we do these sanctions, it will keep him from going too far.’ “

In response, Melvin asked if Haley was “playing good cop, bad cop,” with Trump to benefit negotiations or diplomatic standing.

Haley responded without directly answering the question.

“I was trying to get the job done,” Haley said. “And I got the job done by being truthful, but also by letting him be unpredictable. And not showing our cards.”

Columbia High School graduate and former WIS TV anchor from Columbia, SC, Craig Melvin, got promoted to one of the most watched shows in the country, the Today Show.

Haley also weighed in on the Khashoggi assassination. In a clip of the interview aired on NBC Nightly News, Haley told Melvin “I think we need to have a serious, hard talk with the Saudis to let them know we won’t condone this, we won’t give you a pass, and don’t do this again.”

No excerpts of Haley’s future plans have been released.

She and husband Michael Haley, recently sold their Lexington County home, and announced they would remain in New York until their 17-year-old son, Nalin, finishes high school, The State previously reported.

Former South Carolina Gov. and current United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley was named the 2018 Citizen of the Carolinas on Tuesday, November 27, 2018 in Charlotte, NC. Haley expressed her love for the two Carolinas during her acceptance speech.

Haley has said she will support Trump’s re-election bid in 2020, but there is speculation she could seek the Republican nomination in 2024.

Her fellow South Carolinian certainly asked about her plans. But the only thing Haley has said before the interview airs was that it was “great to hang out with my friend,” and that she is proud of Melvin’s accomplishments.

One of his most notable recent achievements involved more S.C. natives. Melvin interviewed Hootie & the Blowfish last week, getting the exclusive that the band was reuniting for a 2019 tour and to make a new album, The State reported.

“Today” will air from 7-9 a.m.

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Noah Feit is a Real Time reporter with The State and McClatchy Carolinas Regional Team. The award-winning journalist has worked for multiple newspapers since starting his career in 1999.


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