Nikki Haley lavishes praise on Jared Kushner on her way out, calling him 'a hidden genius that no one understands'

Drew Angerer/Getty ImagesWhite House Senior Advisor Jared Kushner looks on as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley speaks during a United Nations Security Council meeting.
  • Nikki Haley, the US ambassador to the United Nations, lavished praise on President Donald Trump’s family while announcing her departure from the administration.
  • Haley called Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, one of his senior advisers, “a hidden genius that no one understands.”
  • She pointed to his work on the reconfigured NAFTA deal and the ongoing development of a Middle East peace plan.

Nikki Haley, the US ambassador to the United Nations, lavished praise on President Donald Trump’s family during a Tuesday appearance announcing her departure from the administration, calling particular attention to Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, whom she called a “hidden genius.”

Haley pointed to Kushner’s work on the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement, a reconfiguration of the 25-year old North American Free trade Agreement (NAFTA) and on the development of a new Middle East peace plan, which Haley called “so unbelievably well done.”

“Jared is such a hidden genius that no one understands,” Haley said of the White House adviser.

Haley also called the president’s eldest daughter and top adviser Ivanka Trump a “great friend” and thanked first lady Melania Trump for being “nothing but very, very kind to me.”

“It’s not just the president I want to thank – it’s the family in general,” she said. “I can’t say enough good things about Jared and Ivanka … they do a lot of good things behind the scenes that I wish more people knew about, because we’re a better country because they’re in this administration.”

Trump confirmed to reporters he’d accepted Haley’s resignation and said she’s expected to leave the administration “at the end of the year” – a planned “break” from government service. He added he’ll announce a replacement for Haley within the next two to three weeks.

The president emphasised that he remains on good terms with the outgoing ambassador, and said Haley has done a “fantastic job” at the UN and that she’s “very special” to him.

“She’s somebody that gets it,” Trump said.

Meanwhile, Haley told reporters she has no plans to run for office in 2020, rejecting speculation that emerged almost instantly on social media. She instead suggested that she had reached a self-imposed term limit, arguing that, “it’s very important for government officials to understand when it’s time to step aside.”

“I’ve given everything I’ve got these last eight years,” Haley said, referring to her six years as governor of South Carolina. She added that it has been “the honour of a lifetime” to serve in the Trump administration and said that the US is “respected” and “strong again” because of the president’s leadership on the world stage.

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