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Nikki Haley says Trump will raise taxes and be soft on Russia in a new ad

The former U.N. ambassador and South Carolina governor is upping her ad buy in the state from $4 million to $6 million ahead of the primary.
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Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley after a campaign event at a Harley-Davidson dealership in Elgin, S.C., on Monday.Meg Kinnard / AP

Former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley’s campaign is adding $2 million to its South Carolina advertising plans and is putting out a new TV ad claiming that Donald Trump would raise taxes and allow a “Russian victory.”

The added funds will increase Haley’s previously announced $4 million ad buy to $6 million by the South Carolina primary Feb. 24. 

The new 30-second spot, titled “More Chaos” and shared first with NBC News, takes direct aim at Trump, including language and themes that Democrats have also wielded against the former president.

A narrator says: “The chaos that surrounds him is bad enough. But what is Trump saying he’ll actually do in office?”

The new ad then highlights Trump’s proposal for a 10% tariff on trade imports: “A 10% across-the-board tax increase. More record-breaking debt.”

Trump first outlined a potential 10% tariff on imports in August, saying, “I think when companies come in and they dump their products in the United States, they should pay automatically, let’s say, a 10% tax.”

The Biden administration jumped to criticize the plan, with Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen warning that Trump’s plan to raise tariffs would increase costs for U.S. consumers. 

“It would certainly raise the cost of a wide variety of goods that American businesses and consumers rely on,” Yellen told reporters. She added, “In some cases, I think tariffs are appropriate.”

In addition to tariffs, the new Haley spot pivots to Trump’s recent comments about NATO. At a rally in South Carolina, Trump said he’d let Russia do “whatever the hell they want” to NATO countries that don’t pay enough. 

“A Russian victory that will bring more war,” the Haley ad’s narrator says. “With a world on fire and a crisis at home, with Trump, it’s just more chaos."

Haley has said on the campaign trail that Trump’s comments “put every military member in danger; he put every country in danger.”

Haley spokesperson Olivia Perez-Cubas said, “With a world on fire and a crisis at home, America can’t afford Donald Trump’s chaos and unhinged policies.”

The increased ad buy comes amid increased online fundraising around Haley’s jabs at Trump — and after Haley campaign manager Betsy Ankney recently said that the campaign had the resources “to go to the distance.” The campaign has already aired $3.4 million in ads in South Carolina since the New Hampshire primary, according to AdImpact. But Haley still trails by large margins in public polling.