How Did Nikki Haley Increase Her Wealth by Tens of Millions in a Few Short Years?

News & Politics

Show me a man that gets rich by being a politician, and I’ll show you a crook.
— Harry Truman

Career politicians have a hell of a way of parlaying something called “public service” into lucrative checks for themselves. It’s probably their greatest talent.

At the recent GOP debate, in one of the few segments where an actual ideological disagreement of substance could be discerned among the contenders, Vivek Ramaswamy accused his rival, Nikki Haley, of serving the interests of defense contractors via never-ending war in the hopes of cashing in later on. Haley bristled.

Via The Hill:

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Republican presidential candidates Nikki Haley and Vivek Ramaswamy clashed Wednesday night during the presidential debate in Milwaukee, with Haley criticizing her GOP rival for lacking foreign policy experience and supporting Russia.

After Ramaswamy said he would not support Ukraine in the war against Russia, Haley accused him of supporting America’s foreign adversaries and abandoning its friends.

“He wants to hand Ukraine to Russia, he wants to let China eat Taiwan, he wants to go and stop funding Israel,” Haley said. “You don’t do that to friends. What you do instead is you have the backs of your friends.”

Ramaswamy hit back that Haley was “pushing this lie” about him and then suggested Haley was backing Ukraine at the behest of large defense contractors.

“I wish you well in your future career on the boards of Lockheed [Martin] and Raytheon,” Ramaswamy said, referring to major defense contractors.

“I’m not on the boards of Lockheed and Raytheon,” was Haley’s response.

While technically correct — Haley is not currently on the boards of Lockheed or Raytheon — per Lee Fang’s recent reporting, Haley may have been less than forthright about her financial entanglements with the military-industrial complex.

Related: Chris Christie Claims He Made a ‘Great Sacrifice’ to Become a Career Politician

Via Lee Fang (emphasis added):

[In the last six years], [Haley] went from near negligible wealth – with virtually no assets or investments other than a bank account with less than $15,000 in 2017 and up to $1 million in debt – to a sizable fortune.

Over the last year, Haley and her husband reported a vast investment stock portfolio and $12 million of income.

The former South Carolina governor left the Trump administration in 2018 at a time when her parents were struggling financially and had just faced foreclosure. Those days are over. Haley now resides in a 5,700-square-foot mansion on Kiawah Island now worth close to $5 million

Along the way, Haley became wealthy in large part from her ties to a network of defense interests and hawkish advocacy organizations tied to U.S. and Israeli intelligence officials.

In one of her first reported private sector jobs after leaving her last government post, Haley joined the board of Boeing, a defense contractor, a position that paid around $300,000 a year in cash and stock. Haley, according to disclosures, still owns up to $250,000 in Boeing stock.

Every time Boeing sells more military equipment to any of America’s various “allies,” Haley cashes in on her Boeing stock. War is big business, and when politicians in positions to make foreign policy decisions are on the gravy train, they have an obvious conflict of interest. This, like insider stock trading of any kind, is literal corruption, regardless of whether it’s technically legal or not.

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