Why the ellipsis in the headline, you ask? She was his ambassador to the UN. It’s not a big surprise that she’d defend him.
Right, but no one on either side of the party is under any illusions about her politics. Haley is the leader-in-waiting of the establishment GOP in 2024, the great RINO hope. She’s going to run for the nomination after Trump is gone, the story goes, and restore traditional conservatism to dominance within the party. She has to play nice with Trumpers to preserve her electability — hence the ambassadorship — but she’s not a Trumper herself and realistically can’t position herself as one. Her entire appeal to the chunk of the party that lies outside Trump’s core base is that she’s not one of “them,” she one of “us.” That’s why you find Haley occasionally scolding Trump on Twitter for a nasty comment or whatever. She’s just protecting her brand.
Naturally, then, you wouldn’t expect her to go face-first into the tank for the president on impeachment. To oppose impeachment, sure. Again: She has to play nice with the populists. But to scoff at impeachment? Nah, never. You’d expect Haley to be somewhere in the ballpark of Rob Portman and Tucker Carlson, willing to concede that the president behaved improperly by leaning on Ukraine for help with Burisma and the Bidens but committed no impeachable offense.