President Donald Trump on Tuesday confirmed U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley will exit her post “at the end of the year.”
“She’s done an incredible job. She’s a fantastic person, very importantly. She also is somebody who gets it. She has been at the United Nations from the beginning and worked with us on the campaign,” President Trump told reporters in the Oval Office. “It’s been a long time, very intense. She told me probably six months ago, maybe at the end of the year, I want to take a little time off.”
Haley said she has no plans to run for president in 2020 and will campaign in support of Trump’s re-election bid. “No, I am not running for 2020. I can promise you what I’ll be doing is campaigning for this one,” Haley told reporters as she pointed to President Trump. “I look forward to supporting the president in the next election.”
Haley then thanked President Trump for appointing her as Ambassador, describing her time in the high-profile post as an “honor of a lifetime.” “It’s really been a blessing and I want to thank you,” she told the president as the press pool looked on. “You know I’ve said ‘I’m such a lucky girl to have been able to lead the state that raised me and to serve a country I love so very much.'”
Further, the president noted he will name Haley’s successor within 2-3 weeks. Deputy National Security Adviser Dina Powell is among those being floated as a possible replacement. An anonymous source told the Washington Examiner that U.S. Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell is a “family favorite” to assume the role.
In a statement shared to Twitter, Vice President Mike Pence praised Haley for her “courage, intellect, character, and unfailing grace.”
“[Haley’s] frank and clear-eyed assessments of global threats as well as much-needed reforms at the U.N. were in the best tradition of American leadership,” he added.
The surprising development was first reported by Axios, which mistakenly promoted a similar “scoop” weeks ago — reporting that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein had offered his resignation to White House Chief of Staff John Kelly. Rosenstein has since met with the president and still serves in the Department of Justice. Swan reported some foreign policy officials were “shocked” by Haley’s resignation.
Haley, a once staunch Never Trumper, was sworn in as Ambassador to the United Nations on January 27, 2017.