NEW YORK: The Governor of the U.S. State of South
Carolina, Nikki Haley, who is of Indian ancestry, is under consideration by President-elect Donald Trump for secretary of state, and other cabinet positions, CNN reported Wednesday evening.
Trump is set to meet with Ms. Haley, former Secretary of State Henry
Kissinger, Florida Governor Rick Scott, Cincinnati’s Afro-American Mayor Ken Blackwell, Admiral Mike Rogers and Congressman Jeb Hensarling on Thursday, the network said, citing Trump’s Communication Director Jason Miller and Republican National Committee spokesman Sean Spicer.
Born as Nimrata Randhawa to Sikh parents who migrated from Indian
Punjab, Haley created history by becoming the first woman to occupy the governor’s mansion of South Carolina.
She has since converted to Christianity, but occasionally goes to Sikh
services at her parents request. She is married to Michael Haley, an officer in US defence department.
Haley, South Carolina’s first female governor, had spent most of the
election season criticizing Trump, especially his vow to ban Muslims from entering the US, and took aim at him during her high-profile role giving the Republican response to the State of the Union.
“During anxious times, it can be tempting to follow the siren call of
the angriest voices,” Haley said at the time from the governor’s residence in Columbia. “We must resist that temptation.
No one who is willing to work hard, abide by our laws and love our
traditions should ever feel unwelcome in this country.”
Trump struck back at the South Carolina governor after her speech,
saying at the time she was being “weak” on immigration.
“She’s very weak on illegal immigration,” he said on Fox News’ programme “Fox & Friends.” “I feel very strongly about immigration. She doesn’t.”
And ahead of the Republican South Carolina primary, Haley said Trump
represents “everything a governor doesn’t want in a president.”
She endorsed Trump’s former presidential rival Florida Senator Marco
Rubio when he was still in the race.
In October, she reversed her position, and said she was going to vote
for him when he became the Republican nominee, but added that she was “not a fan.”
The Trump transition team has so far not given any indication of who all
will be filling various Cabinet positions. The President-elect himself has tweeted that only he knows the final list.
Haley is the second Indian-American name being floated for a Cabinet
position in the Trump Administration.
Former Governor of Louisiana Bobby Jindal, also from Indian Punjab, is
also appearing in many short lists of potential Cabinet names. Jindal also made an unsuccessful bid for Republican presidential nomination.