Former President Donald Trump’s campaign sent Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley an empty bird cage over the weekend, apparently as a prank gift in reference to a nickname Trump posted about her on social media.
The Trump campaign confirmed they had sent the cage to Haley by sending a photograph of the cage sitting outside Haley’s hotel room at 1:30 a.m. to The Messenger’s national political reporter, Marc Caputo.
Haley posted a photograph of the bird cage with a tag reading, “From: Trump Campaign,” along with a bag of bird food sitting on top of it. Her tweet came two days after Trump called her “Birdbrain.”
“After a day of campaigning, this is the message waiting for me outside my hotel room… #PrettyPatheticTryAgain #YouJustMadeMyCaseForMe,” Haley wrote in a Sunday tweet.
Trump gave Haley her nickname while taking a swipe at her in a post uploaded Friday to Truth Social. He criticized Haley for previously saying she would not run if Trump entered the 2024 presidential race and said she does not have the “talent or temperament” to be president.
“MAGA, or I, will never go for Birdbrain Nikki Haley,” Trump wrote. “No loyalty, plenty of lies! “I will never run against our great President,” she said,”he has done an outstanding job.” To which I responded,”How nice of you to say, Nikki,” knowing full well that her words mean nothing. She even came to Mar-a-Lago with her family, “bearing gifts.” Anyway, Birdbrain doesn’t have the TALENT or TEMPERAMENT to do the job. MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!” [sic]
Caputo said in a tweet that many have accused The Messenger of falling “for a hoax.”
“At 1:30 am, the Trump camp texted me the birdcage-and-feed photo in front of Haley’s Des Moines hotel door After I woke up, we posted a story about it @TheMessenger. Now some people are suggesting we fell for a hoax lol Check some of the replies THE TRUTH IS OUT THERE!” Caputo wrote.
Some folks are saying this was a hoax, a false flag and/or that Trump’s camp didn’t leave this
It was the Trump camp https://t.co/FI9KDAFQlO
— Marc Caputo (@MarcACaputo) October 1, 2023
Social media users cast doubt about Haley’s claim that Trump’s campaign ever sent the cage.
“Out of all the things that never happened this never happened the most,” one wrote.
— Nikki Haley (@NikkiHaley) October 1, 2023
“This absolutely did not happen. This is an establishment goober’s idea of what the Trump campaign would do. Probably some overpaid consultant being like ‘this is a great idea!’” Eudaimonia said.
This absolutely did not happen. This is an establishment goober’s idea of what the Trump campaign would do.
Probably some overpaid consultant being like “this is a great idea!” https://t.co/2LHkPOMgUe
— (@EudaimoniaEsq) October 1, 2023
“Once again, @NikkiHaley is lying. This time, she had someone buy a bird cage and birdseed and tried to be a fake victim by having it placed outside her hotel room after Donald Trump called her a Bird Brain. But that’s not how any of this works. The Trump campaign would have no idea what room was actually hers at any given hotel. Nobody would,” wrote another Twitter user.
“Presidential campaigns never book hotel rooms under the name of the candidate, they book the rooms under the name of someone else for privacy and security. Even the hotel staff wouldn’t actually know what room in the block of rooms was hers,” he continued. “This is all a scam—she thinks you’re stupid. The only part of it that is true is what President Trump originally said: she’s a bird brain.”
Once again, @NikkiHaley is lying. This time, she had someone buy a bird cage and birdseed and tried to be a fake victim by having it placed outside her hotel room after Donald Trump called her a Bird Brain.
But that’s not how any of this works. The Trump campaign would… https://t.co/6BCejijump
— Christopher Slick (@SlickTweetsSC) October 1, 2023
Haley’s campaign criticized the “weird, creepy, and desperate” incident in a statement to the New York Post.
“This behavior is weird, creepy, and desperate from a former president feeling the pressure,” Betsy Ankney, Haley’s campaign manager, said. “It’s more proof that it’s time to leave the drama behind. America is better than this. Let’s go.”
Haley currently stands in fourth place with 6.5% support among potential Republican primary voters as of Friday, according to FiveThirtyEight. Trump continues to be the frontrunner of the Republican presidential race with 55% favorability, followed by Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and businessman Vivek Ramaswamy with 13.5% and 6.6%, respectively.