Sunday 20 October 2019

Trump says UN ambassador Nikki Haley to leave at end of year

The president called the senior diplomat a ‘very special’ person.

Nikki Haley (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
Nikki Haley (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

By Matthew Lee, Associated Press

Donald Trump has said UN ambassador Nikki Haley will leave his administration “at the end of the year”.

The president spoke as he and Ms Haley met in the Oval Office, shortly after word came of her plans to resign.

He called her a “very special” person, adding that she told him six months ago that she might want to take some time off. Mr Trump said that together they had “solved a lot of problems”.

It is the latest shake-up in the turbulent Trump administration, weeks before the November midterm elections.

Donald Trump with Nikki Haley in the Oval Office (Evan Vucci/AP)

No reason for the resignation was immediately provided. Ms Haley, who is speculated to hold aspirations for higher office, said at the White House: “No, I’m not running in 2020.”

Ms Haley, 46, was appointed to the UN post in November 2016 and last month co-ordinated Mr Trump’s second trip to the United Nations, including his first time chairing the Security Council.

Before she was named by Mr Trump to her UN post, she was governor of South Carolina, the first woman to hold the post. She was re-elected in 2014.

Last month she wrote an article in the Washington Post discussing her policy disagreements but also her pride in working for Mr Trump.

It came in response to an anonymous essay in the New York Times by a senior administration official that alleged there was a secret “resistance” effort from the right in the administration and internal discussions of invoking the 25th amendment to remove Mr Trump from office.

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

The daughter of Indian immigrants, Ms Haley clashed with then-candidate Mr Trump during the 2016 campaign, denouncing “the siren call of the angriest voices” who disrespected America’s immigrants.

Mr Trump tweeted: “The people of South Carolina are embarrassed by Nikki Haley.”

As South Carolina governor, she developed a national reputation as a racial conciliator who led the charge to bring down the Confederate flag at the Statehouse and guided the state through one of its darkest moments, the massacre at a black church.

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