UN Ambassador Nikki Haley to resign

Associated Press

WASHINGTON — Ambassador to the United

Nations Nikki Haley announced Tuesday she is

resigning at the end of the year, raising questions

about the outspoken diplomat’s political ambitions.

A smiling Haley announced her decision at

an Oval Office meeting alongside the president,

bringing up her own political prospects even

as she underscored her continued support for

Trump. Without prompting from reporters, she

said she had no plans to run for president “in

2020” and would campaign for Trump.

The news blindsided some key U.S. allies and

many congressional Republicans involved in foreign

policy matters.

Haley, the former South Carolina governor, has

often been an unpredictable and independent

force in the Trump administration. At times she

has offered strikingly different perspectives on

world events from her more isolationist-minded

boss.

Haley, who is 46 and not personally wealthy,

hinted in her resignation letter to Trump that she

is headed to the private sector.

“I have given everything I’ve got these last

eight years,” she said, referring to her six years as

governor as well as her time at the U.N. “And I do

think it’s good to rotate in other people who can

put that same energy and power into it.”

Trump was asked why the announcement was

made now since Haley is staying until the end

of the year. Instead of answering directly, he recounted

how she has had to work on tough issues,

such as Iran and North Korea.

White House officials had sought to put a

hold on Trump’s record-setting turnover in the

run-up to the Nov. 6 elections, with aides being

asked months ago to step down or commit to stay

through Election Day to avoid adding to a sense

of turmoil.

Still, the prospect of post-midterm changes

continues to hang over the West Wing, and Haley’s

exit was one that has been

discussed, according to a senior

administration official not authorized

to publicly discuss private

conversations.

Trump said Haley first discussed

with him leaving six months ago.

The senior official noted that their

conversation coincided with the

appointments of Mike Pompeo as

secretary of state and John Bolton

as national security adviser in an

earlier upending of top foreign policy officials. Haley

had expressed some frustration that her voice

had been diminished as the two men became the

aggressive new faces of Trump’s international policy,

the official said.

The six-month timeline also coincides with a

high-profile spat between Haley and the White

House in April, when she drew the president’s ire

for previewing in a television appearance the administration’s

planned imposition of a new round

of sanctions on Russia. When the sanctions never

materialized, White House officials said the plans

had changed without Haley being briefed, and

economic adviser Larry Kudlow suggested she

was confused.

“I don’t get confused,” Haley said in a sharply

worded response to the West Wing.

Haley was appointed to the U.N. post in November

2016 and last month coordinated Trump’s

second trip to the United Nations, including his

first time chairing the Security Council.

A rookie to international politics, the former

South Carolina governor was an unusual pick for

to be U.N. envoy. “It was a blessing to go into the

U.N. every day with body armor,” Haley said, saying

her job was to defend America on the world

stage.

At the U.N., she helped spearhead the administration’s

efforts to combat what it alleged to

be anti-American and anti-Israel actions by the

international body, including the U.S. decision

to leave the Human Rights Council and to stop

funding the U.N. agency for Palestinian Refugees.

Haley also secured three successively tougher

Security Council sanction resolutions against

North Korea — which the administration has

credited with bringing Kim Jong Un to the negotiating

table — and an arms embargo against

South Sudan.

But under Haley’s tenure at the U.N., the U.S.

has faced strong opposition from Russia when it

comes to addressing the seven-year-old war in

Syria, and frustration from European allies over

reimposing nuclear sanctions against Iran.

Trump told reporters aboard Air Force One he

was considering five candidates for Haley’s job

and that a successor would be named in two to

three weeks — or maybe sooner. Among those under

consideration, Trump said, is former deputy

national security adviser Dina Powell.

UN’s Ambassador Nikki Haley announces resignation for end of the year

Nikki

Haley

 

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