Nikki Haley, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, announced her resignation on Tuesday.
President Trump, who referred to Haley as a “fantastic person” in a joint press conference following the announcement, said Haley first indicated that she planned to leave six months ago. Her tenure as America’s ambassador to the U.N. will conclude at the end of the year.
President Trump credited Haley with helping the administration tackle many significant challenges. He put particular emphasis on what was, until recently, considered a nuclear crisis in North Korea. The president went on to say that he hopes to see Haley join his administration again in a different role sometime in the future—Haley chuckled at this remark.
An accomplished politician herself, Haley previously served as the governor of South Carolina and has gained significant notoriety in the Republican Party since assuming her U.N. duties. Some credit Haley’s popularity to her no-nonsense personality and willingness to challenge President Trump when she felt it was appropriate. Some have even gone as far as to suggest that she could potentially challenge Trump for the party’s nomination in the 2020 presidential election.
Haley, however, refuted those rumors, stating that she has no intentions to run and that she will support the president in his reelection bid.
Haley had previously said that she didn’t expect the Trump administration to meet her demands when she was offered the ambassador role. According to Haley, she requested to also be a member of the president’s cabinet and the National Security Council—rare privileges, which her predecessor in the Obama administration also enjoyed. In Haley’s mind, however, the job wasn’t worth doing if she wasn’t given the opportunity to participate in policy discussions.
Haley described her exchange with the president:
“I am a policy girl, I want to be part of the decision-making process.”
“Done,” he said.
“I don’t want to be a wallflower or a talking head. I want to be able to speak my mind.”
“That is why I asked you to do this,” he replied.
“In all honesty, I didn’t think they were going to take me up on everything I asked for. And they gave me all that. So how do you turn that down?” added Haley.
President Trump said that currently, they don’t have anyone slated to replace the ambassador. He emphasized, however, that there are “many people that are very much interested in doing it.” He went on to credit Haley with making the role “more glamorous and, more importantly, a more important position.”
Haley will have held the position for a two-year period.