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As Haley vows to fight on, Trump team says he’s weeks from clinching GOP nomination

Just days ahead of the rematch between former President Donald Trump and Nikki Haley, this time in the South Carolina Republican primary on Saturday, two of Trump’s top aides say he’s already well on his way to securing the Republican nomination at least by March 19.

In a memo sent out to reporters on Tuesday morning, shortly before Haley gave a speech in which she vowed to continuing running against Trump, his advisers Chris LaCivita and Susie Wiles wrote that under what they consider “the most-generous model” for her, Trump is still expected to clinch the delegates needed to win the Republican nomination by March 19 — two weeks after Super Tuesday, when 15 states vote at once.

If not accounting for “the most-generous model” for Haley, the advisers said that Trump is expected to win the nomination one week earlier, by March 12.

To do that, he’ll need to earn 1,215 of the total 2,429 delegates available.

Trump’s advisers also urged the Republican National Committee to rally behind him to begin their general election campaign against President Joe Biden and Democrats, even with Haley remaining in the race.

Still, Haley during her speech in South Carolina on Tuesday said she’s not dropping out soon because she believes her message is important and more voters deserve to be “heard” beyond the three states to cast ballots so far.

“Of course, many of the same politicians who now publicly embrace Trump privately dread him,” Haley told supporters in Greenville. “They know what a disaster he’s been and will continue to be for our party. They’re just too afraid to say it out loud.”

“Well, I’m not afraid to say the hard truths out loud,” Haley continued, drawing applause. “I feel no need to kiss the ring. And I have no fear of Trump’s retribution. I’m not looking for anything from him. My own political future is of zero concern.”

PHOTO: Republican presidential candidate former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley speaks at a campaign event, Feb. 19, 2024, in Greer, S.C.

Republican presidential candidate former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley speaks at a campaign event, Feb. 19, 2024, in Greer, S.C.

David Yeazell/AP

Trump has already secured 63 delegates from Iowa, New Hampshire, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Nevada and Haley has just 17 delegates — and 50 delegates are up for grabs in the upcoming South Carolina Republican primary.

The following week, Trump and Haley will be competing for 189 delegates from Michigan, Idaho, Missouri, North Dakota and Washington, D.C., and on Super Tuesday on March 5, they’ll compete for 874 from 16 states and U.S. territories.

Trump is ahead of Haley in nearly all of these states, according to 538’s polling averages, though that includes states that don’t have up-to-date polls and 538 isn’t tracking every state.

LaCivita and Wiles in their memo claimed that under the “the most-generous model” for Haley, they expect Trump to earn 114 delegates in the week following the South Carolina primary, 773 delegates from Super Tuesday and an additional 192 delegates the two weeks after that, when primary contests in key states like Georgia, Arizona and Florida take place.

The next step for the Trump campaign, they wrote, is to claim Haley is “not newsworthy” and for the RNC to become “one with the Donald J. Trump for President campaign,” a position that Haley has pushed back on as anti-democratic.

“We don’t anoint kings in this country,” she said on Tuesday. “We have elections.”

PHOTO: Former U.S. President Donald Trump gestures to his supporters, as he departs for his second civil trial after E. Jean Carroll accused Trump of raping her decades ago, outside a Trump Tower, Jan. 25, 2024, in New York.

Former U.S. President Donald Trump gestures to his supporters, as he departs for his second civil trial after E. Jean Carroll accused Trump of raping her decades ago, outside a Trump Tower, Jan. 25, 2024, in New York.

Eduardo Munoz/Reuters

LaCivita and Wiles claimed the campaign and the RNC should begin coordinating “convention planning, fundraising, strategy, and state party tactics” with the other campaign arms of the national party as soon as possible.

LaCivita and Wiles also attacked Haley for courting non-Republican voters in primaries where that is allowed, likening it to “hijack[ing] GOP contests.”

“The results of 5 elections overwhelmingly sent an unmistaken message: Nikki Haley doesn’t represent Republicans any more than Joe Biden does,” they wrote.

ABC News’ Hannah Demissie, Alexandra Hutzler and Nicholas Kerr contributed to this report.

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