Nikki Haley resigns as US ambassador to the UN

Chris Kleponis-Pool/Getty ImagesNikki Haley

Nikki Haley abruptly resigned as US ambassador to the United Nations on Tuesday, a move she said she had talked about with President Donald Trump for months.

During an appearance in the Oval Office, 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.” He said he’d announce a replacement for Haley within the next two to three weeks.

The president said Haley has done a “fantastic job” and that she’s been “very special” to him. He added that Haley had told him she wanted a break about six months ago.

Haley told reporters she has no plans to run for office in 2020, rejecting speculation that popped up almost instantly on social media.

“I don’t have anything set on where I’m going to go,” Haley said, adding that “it has been the honour of a lifetime” to serve as UN ambassador.

Nikki Haley’s resignation comes one day after an ethics watchdog requested an investigation into her acceptance of free flights on private jets

Trump and Haley both exhibited a warm demeanour and were mutually complimentary as they announced her departure.

Haley hasn’t always agreed with Trump, but she’s continued to defend him

Haley, the former governor of South Carolina, has been among the more moderate members of Trump’s administration. She represents the Trump administration’s agenda in the UN, a body the president has long criticised.

Her departure comes less than a month after the UN General Assembly in New York City, which was somewhat of a rocky affair for the president. During his address to the UNGA, world leaders laughed as he claimed his administration had accomplished more than any other in US history.

Haley claimed the media had mischaracterized the laughter and contended it was actually a sign of respect.

“They love how honest he is,” she told “Fox & Friends” in late September. “It’s not diplomatic, and they find it funny. I mean, when he goes and he is very truthful, they kind of were taken back by it.”

“Whether he said good things about them or not, they love that he’s honest with them,” Haley added at the time. “And they have never seen anything like it, so there’s a respect there. I saw that the media was trying to make it something disrespectful; that’s not what it was. They love to be with him.”

In September, Haley wrote an op-ed for The Washington Post declaring she “proudly” works in the Trump administration but doesn’t always agree with him.

“I proudly serve in this administration, and I enthusiastically support most of its decisions and the direction it is taking the country,” Haley wrote. “But I don’t agree with the president on everything.”

Trump’s administration has seen numerous departures since he entered the White House, but his national security and foreign policy circle has witnessed a particularly high level of turnover. Trump is on his second national security adviser as well as his second secretary of state.

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