Nikki Haley to Resign as UN Ambassador

Addison Scufsa

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President Trump and Nikki Haley announced in a press conference early last week that Haley will be resigning shortly as the US ambassador to the United Nations, a position she has held since the beginning of the administration. She will officially resign at the end of the year in order to give the President more time to find a suitable replacement. 

Haley has served as UN ambassador since the start of the Trump administration, receiving praise from Trump, Vice President Pence, and many others for her work in the UN. Previously, she was South Carolina’s Governor for six years and also was a representative in the South Carolina House. 

Known for her fiscal conservatism as well as her stance against the Confederate flag that flew on the state capitol grounds in 2015, many have speculated that Haley might run for President in 2020. During her resignation press conference with President Trump, she quickly put down any speculation that she would run, saying, “I will say this for all of you that are going to ask about 2020 — no, I am not running for 2020.”

She followed up that statement by saying she would campaign for Trump in 2020 and that she looks forward to working with him in the future. Trump echoed her sentiments, wishing her luck and leaving open the possibility that she might come and work for the administration again. “We’re all happy for you in one way, but we hate to lose — hopefully you’ll be coming back at some point but in a different capacity. You can have your pick.”

President Trump also quelled any concerns that this was a surprise resignation, something that has been an issue for the administration. Many officials have quit or been fired in the almost two years since his cabinet was formed, including former White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer and former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. “She told me probably six months ago, ‘You know maybe at the end of the year — at the end of the two year period — but by the end of the year I want to take a little time off, I want to take a break,’” Trump said to reporters. 

The UN and US relation had been explosive so far under the Trump administration and Nikki Haley. Both Haley and Trump pressured the UN to put heavier sanctions on North Korea, attempting to force them to denuclearize once and for all. The US moved its official embassy in Israel to Jerusalem as well as criticize the UN Human Rights Council for its bias against Israel, something Haley has done frequently during her tenure as ambassador. 

While it may seem surprising that Haley would step down as UN ambassador, she says she just needed a break from politics. In her resignation letter she mentions the importance of switching leadership, saying “As a strong supporter of term limits, I have long believed that rotation in office benefits the public. Between the UN Ambassadorship and serving in the South Carolina Governorship and General Assembly, I have been in public office for fourteen straight years.”

Haley also says she sees her move from the public sphere to the private one as “not a step down, but a step up,” commenting that Trump may very well agree being a businessman himself. As far as finding a replacement for Haley goes, Trump has been very tight lipped, refusing to tell almost anyone who he wants according to a senior Trump administration official.