Nikki Haley resigns as Trump’s ambassador to the United Nations

Nikki Haley abruptly resigned on Tuesday morning as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. She’ll leave her post in December.

President Trump announced the departure from the Oval Office, where he said that she ‘has been very special to me’ and ‘is a fantastic person’ who has done exemplary work.

‘She’s done a fantastic job, and we’ve done a fantastic job together,’ he said, citing the progress toward a nuclear deal with North Korea. ‘We’re all happy for you in one way, but we hate to — hopefully, you’ll be coming back at some point.’

He said that she would be welcome to return in another capacity — telling her she could have her pick of jobs if she wants to come back.

‘I think she’s helped make it a much better position, if you want to know the truth,’ he said of her tenure at the United Nations, where she was known for fiery speeches defending America’s interests. ‘I wonder why, but it is. I mean, she’s made it a more glamorous position. She’s made it a more important – more importantly, a more important position.’

Haley has been considered a rising star within the Republican Party and a leading candidate for president in 2020, if Trump decides not to run for reelection. She put those rumors to rest on Tuesday, though, in the joint appearance, where she said she would be campaigning for the current Oval Office occupant. 

‘No I’m not running for 2020,’ she said. ‘I look forward to supporting the president in the next election.’

Nikki Haley abruptly resigned on Tuesday morning as U.S. ambassador. President Trump announced the departure from the Oval Office where he said that she 'has been very special to me' and 'is a fantastic person' who's done a 'terrific job'

Nikki Haley abruptly resigned on Tuesday morning as U.S. ambassador. President Trump announced the departure from the Oval Office where he said that she 'has been very special to me' and 'is a fantastic person' who's done a 'terrific job'

Nikki Haley abruptly resigned on Tuesday morning as U.S. ambassador. President Trump announced the departure from the Oval Office where he said that she ‘has been very special to me’ and ‘is a fantastic person’ who’s done a ‘terrific job’

He said that she would hopefully she would return in another capacity - telling her she could have her pick of jobs if she wants to come back

He said that she would hopefully she would return in another capacity - telling her she could have her pick of jobs if she wants to come back

He said that she would hopefully she would return in another capacity – telling her she could have her pick of jobs if she wants to come back

Haley spoke glowingly of the president and his family in their joint appearance in the Oval

Haley spoke glowingly of the president and his family in their joint appearance in the Oval

Haley spoke glowingly of the president and his family in their joint appearance in the Oval

NOT A THREAT: 'No, I'm not running for 2020,' she said. 'I look forward to supporting the president in the next election'

NOT A THREAT: 'No, I'm not running for 2020,' she said. 'I look forward to supporting the president in the next election'

NOT A THREAT: ‘No, I’m not running for 2020,’ she said. ‘I look forward to supporting the president in the next election’

Haley praised Jared Kushner and the president's elder daughter Ivanka. The senior advisers to the president were present on Tuesday as Haley resigned publicly in the Oval Office

Haley praised Jared Kushner and the president's elder daughter Ivanka. The senior advisers to the president were present on Tuesday as Haley resigned publicly in the Oval Office

Haley praised Jared Kushner and the president’s elder daughter Ivanka. The senior advisers to the president were present on Tuesday as Haley resigned publicly in the Oval Office

Haley said she doesn’t have ‘anything set’ on where she’s going to go next. She said it’s been eight years of ‘intense time’ in her life. She catapulted from governor of South Carolina to United Nations ambassador.

‘For all of you that are going to ask about 2020, no, I am not running for 2020,’ she said. ‘I can promise you what I’ll be doing is campaigning for this one. So I look forward to supporting the president in the next election.’

She said her family has been very supportive of her career and there are ‘no personal reasons’ for her departure other than a belief that public servants should be term-limited and recognize when it’s time to leave.

Trump said that they would stay in ‘constant touch’ and he would continue to rely on her for advice on foreign affairs.

‘She got to know the players,’ he said of China, Russia and India. ‘She knows everybody on a very first name basis, and they like her.’

Haley spoke glowingly of the president and his family, including son-in-law Jared Kushner and the president’s elder daughter.

‘Jared is such a hidden genius that no one understands,’ she said. ‘And Ivanka has been such a great friend.’

She said the couple that volunteers their time at the White House in unpaid senior adviser positions ‘do a lot of things behind the scenes that I wish more people knew about.’ Haley credited Kushner, specifically, for his work on an as-of-yet unseen Middle East peace plan.

Later in the day, CNN reported that President Trump could tap his daughter Ivanka to take Haley’s place. A White House spokeswoman declined to comment on the rumor to DailyMail.com.

Such an appointment would be unprecedented. That didn’t stop the president from inviting his daughter and son-in-law to come work for him at the White House, and it’s unlikely that it would keep him from promoting his daughter

Anyone who takes the position must be confirmed by a simple majority in the Senate. Republicans hold exactly that many seats.

Nikki Haley abruptly resigned on Tuesday morning as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations

Nikki Haley abruptly resigned on Tuesday morning as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations

Nikki Haley abruptly resigned on Tuesday morning as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations

The resignation was first reported by the news website Axios.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders did not confirm it but said a tweet minutes after Axios reported the resignation: ‘President Trump and Ambassador Nikki Haley will meet in the Oval Office at 10:30am this morning. This event will be open to the pool.’

The president subsequently said in a tweet that he’d be making a ‘Big announcement with my friend Ambassador Nikki Haley in the Oval Office at 10:30am.’

Trump’s tweet suggested that Haley is leaving the administration on good terms, despite recent clashes with the president, and he offered her high praise his remarks.

She spoke out strongly in favor of Christine Blasey Ford after the university professor levied an accusation of sexual assault against Judge Brett Kavanaugh.

‘It turns my stomach. It really turns my stomach. I mean, Ms. Ford needs to be heard, but Brett Kavanaugh needs to be heard and the Senate has a responsibility here,’ Haley told Fox News. ‘They have to lead, they have to make sure it’s fair, they have to make sure it’s responsible and they have got to take the politics out of this situation.’

Haley defended the president in strong terms, however, a day later when a reporter asked her about an alleged plot to remove Trump from office using the 25th amendment. 

A Cabinet-level member of the Trump administration since the Republican took office, she said ‘no one is questioning’ the president’s mental acuity.

‘It is completely and totally absurd,’ Haley said at a late September news conference. ‘No one is questioning the president at all. If anything, we’re trying to keep up the pace with him in the fact that he’s got a lot that he wants to accomplish very quickly, and we’re going to continue to support him in the way that he does that.’ 

Haley said her family has been very supportive of her career and there are 'no personal reasons' for her departure

Haley said her family has been very supportive of her career and there are 'no personal reasons' for her departure

Haley said her family has been very supportive of her career and there are ‘no personal reasons’ for her departure

Apparently, that support will no longer involve her acting as the face of the United States on the global stage at the United Nations. 

Even before her announced departure from the Oval Office, Haley had already wiped her Twitter bio of any mention of the United Nations and the Trump administration. 

A State Department source indicated to DailyMail.com that her resignation wasn’t as abrupt as it seemed.

‘She didn’t tell anyone at State before she told the White House, but people suspected this was coming,’ the person said. ‘She was asking some of us a few months ago about timing. Seems now like she decided to wait until Justice Kavanaugh’s confirmation was over so she wouldn’t be a distraction.’

Trump said that she told him roughly six months ago that she want to take time off at the end of a two-year stint. 

WHO IS OUTGOING UN AMBASSADOR NIKKI HALEY?

Nikki Haley’s reputation as a Republican moderate made her move to Trump’s UN a head-scratcher for some Washington watchers who expected her to push back against his cowboy diplomacy instead of enabling it.

She charted an improbable rise to the top of America’s United Nations delegation that began as the daughter of Indian-American immigrants in a South Carolina town of 3,000 people.

Born Nimrata Randhawa Haley, she was known as ‘Nikki’ from a young age.

Her father was a professor at a government agricultural university, and settled in the U.S. to teach at a historically black university. Her mother was a lawyer in India but became a schoolteacher in South Carolina, and then a clothing entrepreneur.

When she was five years old, Haley’s parents tried to enter her in a children’s beauty pageant, but she was disqualified because she was neither white nor black – the competition’s two categories.

A graduate of Clemson University, she worked for her mother’s clothing company and became a state chairwoman of the National Association of Women Business Owners before running for the state legislature in 2004.

She was the first Indian-American woman to hold office in the state.

Haley attracted attention as a lawmaker for her firm positions against illegal immigration, saying that there should be no shortcuts to the front of the line for those emigrating to the U.S.

She ran for governor in 2010 at the urging of the incumbent Republican Mark Sanford. She vaulted from last place to the front of the Republican primary pack after winning endorsements from both moderate former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and firebrand former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin.

Haley won the governor’s mansion over Democrat Vincent Shaheen by a narrow 4-point margin, and made a steady stream of decisions that pleased Democrats and kept Republicans guessing.

In 2015 she dramatically switched her position on the display of the Confederate battle flag on statehouse grounds, ordering its removal in the wake of a deadly Charleston church shooting.

‘These grounds are a place that everybody should feel a part of. … There is a place for that flag. It’s not in a place that represents all people in South Carolina,’ she said then in a statement.

Haley won a second term as governor but left office early to serve as President Trump’s UN ambassador.

While other women are more senior in his administration, none has been a more visible ally.

Both Romney in 2012 and Trump in 2016 considered Haley as a potential running mate. Originally a backer of Florida Sen. Marco Rubio in the primary season, she took herself out of the running after Trump had locked down the Republican nomination.

Haley is married to an officer in the South Carolina National Guard. They had wedding ceremonies in both a Methodist church and a Sikh temple.

The pair have two children, daughter Rena and son Nalin.

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