Headed back to the presidents’ club? Donald Trump hugs eccentric Argentinian leader Javier Milei ahead of stunning primary win against Nikki Haley in her home state of South Carolina

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Written By Maya Cantina
  • Trump took another step towards a general election rematch with Joe Biden by decimating Nikki Haley in her home state 
  • Before that, however, he was at CPAC backstage when he met with Milei, who took office in December after running a campaign inspired by Trump 
  • In the video, Trump tells Milei, ‘Make Argentina Great Again.’ Milei then uttered his famous phrase, ‘Long live freedom, damn it!’ 

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Former President Donald Trump received a hug from Argentina’s new President and huge Trump acolyte Javier Milei, at the Conservative Political Action Conference Saturday. 

Trump took another step towards a November general election rematch with Joe Biden by decimating Nikki Haley in her home state in the South Carolina Republican primary. 

Before that, however, he was at CPAC backstage when he met with Milei, who took office in December after running a campaign inspired by Trump, complete with red ‘Make Argentina Great Again’ hats in a nod to the former president’s own ‘Make America Great Again’ movement.

He was the last of several foreign politicians at CPAC to echo popular Trump themes on issues like migration and the perceived threat of socialism.

In the video, Trump tells Milei, ‘Make Argentina Great Again.’ Milei then uttered his famous phrase, ‘Long live freedom, damn it!’

Former President Donald Trump received a hug from Argentina’s new President and huge Trump acolyte Javier Milei, at the Conservative Political Action Conference Saturday

The result was called just seconds after polls closed in an embarrassing night for Haley who has vowed to stay in the race even as her path to the nomination rapidly closes.

The Argentine´s appearance at CPAC came a day after he met with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken. 

A top Milei official alleged that Marc Stanley, the U.S. ambassador in Buenos Aires, had suggested that Milei not speak at CPAC.

Milei´s security minister, Patricia Bullrich, who was also attending the gathering south of Washington, said Stanley told Milei´s office that he thought the conference was ‘very political’ and that it was not appropriate for him to participate.

‘It was honorable to come,’ Bullrich said. ‘He comes here as a speaker, to give a general speech, not to talk about the election.’

Milei urged the CPAC crowd to put a stop to socialism and not to endorse more regulation of the economy. He also called abortion access a ‘murderous agenda’ to decrease the size of the population.

‘Do not be led by mermaids singing social justice,’ he said in Spanish. ‘Do not give up your freedom. Fight for your freedom because if you do not fight, you will be led into misery.’

Trump congratulated the new leader the night he was declared the winner last November and wrote on Truth Social: ‘Congratulations to Javier Milei on a great race for President of Argentina.

Trump was at CPAC backstage when he met with Milei, who took office in December after running a campaign inspired by Trump, complete with red 'Make Argentina Great Again' hats in a nod to the former president's own 'Make America Great Again' movement

Trump was at CPAC backstage when he met with Milei, who took office in December after running a campaign inspired by Trump, complete with red ‘Make Argentina Great Again’ hats in a nod to the former president’s own ‘Make America Great Again’ movement

Javier Milei, the fiery, right-wing populist president of Argentina, gave Donald Trump on Saturday an ecstatic hug a day after meeting with Biden administration officials in Buenos Aires

Javier Milei, the fiery, right-wing populist president of Argentina, gave Donald Trump on Saturday an ecstatic hug a day after meeting with Biden administration officials in Buenos Aires

Trump took another step towards a general election rematch with Joe Biden by decimating Nikki Haley in her home state in the South Carolina Republican primary

Trump took another step towards a general election rematch with Joe Biden by decimating Nikki Haley in her home state in the South Carolina Republican primary

‘The whole world was watching! I am very proud of you. You will turn your Country around and truly Make Argentina Great Again!’

He also posted a photo of Milei posing with the Gadsden flag, emblazoned with the words ‘Don’t Tread On Me,’ long considered a symbol of libertarian politics. 

In a speech following his dramatic victory, he vowed the ‘reconstruction of Argentina begins today’ and he echoed Trump, saying he would ‘drain the swamp’.

The two may be working together again sooner rather than later, as the hug came hours before Trump declared his own swift victory at his Election Day party held on the South Carolina State Fairgrounds in Columbia, saying with a smirk: ‘This was a little sooner than we anticipated.’

Trump’s victory builds on the surging momentum he has built coming out of wins in Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada.

But Trump is shifting his messaging from the primary, telling his voters they need to start focusing on the general election in November.

‘Nine months is a long time,’ he noted of the timeline before the presidential election later this year. ‘I just wish we could do it quicker.’

‘You know, in certain countries, you’re allowed to call your election date,’ he added. ‘If I had the right to do it, I’d do it tomorrow. I’d say we’re having an election tomorrow.’

Former President Donald Trump took the stage to declare victory in the South Carolina primary in Columbia on Saturday evening

Former President Donald Trump took the stage to declare victory in the South Carolina primary in Columbia on Saturday evening

The former president doesn’t want to lose the momentum he feels he has on the heels of his sweeping wins and multiple indictments that he claims are political persecutions.

‘South Carolina – thank you very much. Go home, get rest. We have a lot of work ahead of us,’ Trump urged in remarks where he never mentioned his remaining Republican rival.

Haley’s loss on Saturday marks the first time a Republican candidate has lost their home state presidential primary election in more than 50 years. The previous was Richard Nixon, who lost California’s primary to Ronald Reagan – who was also from California. 

But Haley said during a ‘state of the race’ speech on Tuesday that she was ‘far from’ ending her bid despite her underwhelming performance in the primary so far and dismal polling that showed her trailing Trump in national and state elections by large margins.

The former South Carolina governor said she plans to stay in the 2024 Republican primary until Super Tuesday on March 5, when 16 states and a territory hold contests and an astounding 874 delegates are up for grabs in that single day.

Trump spoke for just over 20 minutes – and even after he left the stage, the Associated Press was only reporting 6 percent of the vote counted in South Carolina.

Trump embarrassed Nikki Haley in her home state when the race was called just seconds after polls closed at 7pm

Trump embarrassed Nikki Haley in her home state when the race was called just seconds after polls closed at 7pm

Nikki Haley's loss on Saturday marks the first time in more than 50 years a Republican presidential candidate lost their home state in the primary election

Nikki Haley’s loss on Saturday marks the first time in more than 50 years a Republican presidential candidate lost their home state in the primary election

Trump acknowledged during his remarks that the crowd at his Election Night party in South Carolina’s state capital was ‘very opinionated’ – even regarding some of the former president’s guests of honor.

Upon mention of South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, the crowd booed despite Trump telling them he is a good person.

Some voters in South Carolina told DailyMail.com on Saturday that Haley has ruined any future career ambitions by running in the 2024 race and insists her career in politics, especially in the Palmetto State, is over. 

‘She’s ruined herself in politics because no one I know will ever vote for her again after she went up against Trump and has said that vile things that she has said about him,’ said Trump supporter Kendal Fiorini, 58.

Trump earned 51 percent in Iowa against Haley, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, biotech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy and a few other long shots. Then in New Hampshire last month, he earned 54.3 percent in a contest essentially between just him and Haley after the remainder of the primary field dropped out – and most put their endorsement behind Trump.

Voters line-up to cast their ballots in the south Carolina Republican presidential primary in John's Island, South Carolina on Saturday, February 24

Voters line-up to cast their ballots in the south Carolina Republican presidential primary in John’s Island, South Carolina on Saturday, February 24

The former president then walked away with 99.1 percent of the vote in the Nevada caucus earlier this month, which Haley did not participate in after opting to file for the state’s primary election instead – where she shockingly lost to the ballot option ‘none of these candidates.’

Trump held a rally in Rock Hill, South Carolina on Friday where approximately 6,000 supporters came to hear his final appeal before the primary.

He also spoke at the Black Conservative Federation Gala in Columbia later on Friday, before heading to National Harbor, Maryland for CPAC remarks right outside of Washington, D.C. on Saturday morning.

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