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When you’re in the public eye, it’s a given there will be things you don’t like written or said about you. Of course, some people deal with notoriety better than others. In Haley’s case, her ability to rise above the fray was tested in September 2011, following the publication of an article questioning her July 2011 trip to Europe.

The article’s author, a then 25-year-old reporter named Renee Dudley, accused Haley of misusing “more than $127,000” of taxpayer money to enjoy “five-star hotels and sip cocktails at the Paris Ritz,” according to The Post and Courier. Essentially, Dudley insinuated that Haley misled South Carolinians about the intended purpose of the trip, which was supposedly to bring jobs to the state. 

Haley wasn’t thrilled with Dudley’s work. “All I will tell you is, God bless that little girl at The Post and Courier,” she said during an appearance on Laura Ingraham’s radio show (via HuffPost). “Her job is to create conflict, my job is to create jobs.”

Facing intense public backlash for her comments, Haley later apologized, sort of. “The story painted a grossly inaccurate picture and was unprofessionally done, but my ‘little girl’ comment was inappropriate and I regret that,” she said in a statement (via The Post and Courier). “Everyone can have a bad day. I’ll forgive her bad story, if she’ll forgive my poor choice of words.”

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