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There’s little question that he’s talking about Nikki Haley, right? Among his clues:
1. The suspect is a she, not a he.
Suspect - Piece
2. The suspect has denied writing the piece.
3. The suspect isn’t in the White House but is high up.
4. The suspect believes she should be president.
5. The suspect is known to rant about Trump and has “purged” her staff of Trump loyalists.
Person - Administration - Criteria - Haley - Trump
The only person “high up” in the administration who fits the first four criteria is Haley. Trump’s other women agency heads — Kirstjen Nielsen, Betsy DeVos, Elaine Chao, Gina Haspel — have no political ambitions.
The fifth criterion is trickier, as I can’t remember reading about Haley badmouthing Trump privately or “purging” MAGA true believers from the UN diplomatic staff. The idea that she secretly hates him is plausible, though: Haley endorsed Rubio and then Ted Cruz in the 2016 primaries rather than POTUS; she criticized Trump on the trail; she’s pushed a traditional hawkish anti-Russia message at the UN, sometimes giving Trump fits in doing so; and she’s brought in anti-Trumpers like Jon Lerner to be her deputies. Trump may have offered her the UN job *because* of her disdain, in fact, inviting her inside the tent so that she wouldn’t spend four years attacking him from the outside. I’m unaware of any “purges” of Trump staffers that she’s undertaken (two aides did quit early last year but neither was a hardcore Trumper from what I can tell), but maybe what Caputo means by “purge” is simply that she’s stuck to hiring people like Lerner. She’s not getting rid of Trumpers so much as never staffing up with them to begin with.
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