Former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley said on Monday that the Trump campaign sent her a birdcage, calling the move “pretty pathetic.”
Haley—who is also running for president in 2024—had recently been called “birdbrain” by former President Donald Trump.
Trump criticized Haley in a post on Sunday for her previous support of him, saying that he knew “full well that her words mean nothing.”
“She even came to Mar-a-Lago with her family, ‘bearing gifts,'” Trump said. “Anyway, Birdbrain doesn’t have the TALENT or TEMPERAMENT to do the job. MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!”
Haley hit back on X, writing: “Love this. It means we are in 2nd and moving up fast.”
But it appears the back-and-forth did not stop after that exchange.
Haley revealed the birdcage gift on X, remarking that “after a day of campaigning, this is the message waiting for me outside my hotel room…”
Several users expressed doubts about the stunt. One person called on Haley to post security camera footage of its delivery.
“Nikki Smollett,” commented someone else—referencing actor Jussie Smollett’s self-perpetrated hate crime hoax.
Marc Caputo, a reporter for The Messenger, said he had received confirmation from Trump’s campaign that it did indeed come from them.
“At 1:30 am, the Trump camp texted me the birdcage-and-feed photo in front of Haley’s Des Moines hotel door,” Caputo wrote, adding that some people have also claimed that he fell for a hoax.
“Some folks are feeling conspiratorial today,” Caputo remarked in a later post.
According to a RealClearPolitics average of recent polls, Haley is currently in third place nationwide for the Republican nomination—behind both Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) and Trump, the latter of whom holds a commanding lead of more than 40 points.
But Haley has become an increasing target for Trump as she has recently consistently surpassed DeSantis in two key early states: New Hampshire and South Carolina.
While nationally Trump is nearly 50 points ahead of Haley per the RCP average, his lead over her drops to 31 and 32 points in New Hampshire and South Carolina respectively.