In adopting this see-no-evil posture, Republicans like Haley are confirming Trump’s belief that the normal rules don’t apply to him. Trump said during the 2016 election that he could shoot somebody on Fifth Avenue without losing any supporters. What he has learned in the intervening period is that, as long as his supporters stay loyal, he won’t lose any elected Republicans either—or not very many of them, anyway. Some Republicans are too gutless to follow their consciences. Others still sense that there is personal gain to be had from associating themselves with Trump.
Haley, who is often mentioned as a possible Presidential candidate for 2024, is a prime example of a Republican who is supporting Trump for opportunistic reasons. Despite lacking foreign-policy experience, she spent two years at the United Nations defending Trump’s efforts to thumb his nose at the world by pulling out of the Iran nuclear deal, withdrawing from the Paris climate agreement, and moving the U.S. Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. In her new book, according to the Washington Post, which obtained a copy, she says that she supported all of these moves, and she doesn’t stop there. In a blatant effort to further ingratiate herself with Trump and his supporters, she criticizes Rex Tillerson, the former Secretary of State, and John Kelly, the former White House chief of staff, for trying to work around the President and contain his worst instincts.