WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump said on Tuesday that US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley would be leaving her post at the end of the year.
Trump said the former South Carolina governor had told him of her plans to leave the Cabinet post several months ago.
“She’s done a fantastic job, and we’ve done a fantastic job together,” Trump told reporters in the Oval Office of the White House, where he sat next to the ambassador.
Though Trump said he knew about Haley’s decision months ago when she expressed her wish to serve a term of just two years, the announced departure of one of the strongest officials in the current administration came as a surprise to Washington this Tuesday.
Haley has been a key player in the current administration and became an efficient executor of Trump’s isolationist policies from her seat in the United Nations.
“Countries may not like what we do,” Haley told the reporters, “but they respect what we do.”
In taking Trump’s policies to the UN, Ambassador Haley never hesitated to echo the aggressive stance of the US president against Iran, North Korea, Venezuela, or the UN itself, which she has accused of being unfair to Israel.
By now the former South Carolina governor may be considered a veteran of the administration, having been appointed to the post of ambassador to the UN just four days after the president was sworn-in.
Despite her political past, Haley on Tuesday dismissed the idea that she might run for president in 2020, but rather “I can promise you what I’ll be doing is campaigning for this one,” she said about the chief executive by her side.
Haley acknowledged having some political disagreements with Trump in a Washington Post op-ed article last month, in which she criticized an anonymous high official who wrote in The New York Times describing a chaotic administration and warning that White House officials were totally at odds with Trump on many issues.
“I don’t agree with the president on everything,” she wrote in The Washington Post. “When there is disagreement, there is a right way and a wrong way to address it. I pick up the phone and call him or meet with him in person.”
On Tuesday in the Oval Office, she summed up her feelings about her work as US ambassador to the United Nations by calling it “the honor of a lifetime.”