CNN Analyst Falsely Accuses Nikki Haley of Changing Name

Yale lecturer Asha Rangappa smears the former U.N. ambassador

Former ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley / Getty Images
August 25, 2020

CNN analyst and Yale lecturer Asha Rangappa falsely accused Nikki Haley of changing her name and implied that America is racist in a tweet—the latest in a slew of online attacks on the former United Nations ambassador.

Rangappa retweeted an image of the ambassador on Tuesday, following Haley's Republican National Convention speech Monday night. The image included a quote from Haley, which said "America is not a racist country." "Right. Is that why you went from going by Nimrata to 'Nikki?'" Rangappa tweeted in reply.

Nimrata Nikki Randhawa Haley, the daughter of Indian immigrants, has gone by her middle name, "Nikki"—which means "little one" in Punjabi—since childhood. Other than assuming her husband’s surname, Haley has never changed her name.

Rangappa also goes by her middle name. Her full name is Renuka Asha Rangappa, according to an old profile on Yale’s website.

Neither Rangappa nor Yale University responded to request for comment.

Democrats began targeting Haley for her name Monday night after her RNC speech. Liberal pundit Leslie Marshall called the second-generation Indian American a "white woman" on Twitter, before deleting the tweet and blaming it on staffers. A pro-Biden group on Twitter made a similar comment, implying that America and the Republican Party are racist because Haley goes by "Nikki."