In a surprising development, Nikki Haley has resigned as the US Ambassador to the United Nations, and President Donald Trump has accepted her resignation, ANI and Fox News reported on Tuesday, 9 October.
Haley, meanwhile, also said that she will not be running in the 2020 elections and that she will campaign for Trump.
While Trump said she told him six months ago she wanted time off, there are questions among senior administration aides about why Haley chose this moment - four weeks before midterms, and right after a bruising political battle involving gender - to take her leave.
After almost two years as one of America's top voices on foreign policy, the 46-year-old SC native will leave at year's end with a strong global profile - and a reputation for standing up to the mercurial Trump.
"Big announcement with my friend Ambassador Nikki Haley in the Oval Office at 10:30am", Trump wrote on Twitter ahead of their Tuesday morning meeting.
"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, ' he said.
"She's made it a very glamorous position", Mr Trump said.
Before she was named by Trump to the United Nations job, Haley was governor of SC, the first woman to hold the post. By accepting the United Nations job and working for Trump, Haley shrewdly earned a little goodwill among Trumpers to balance the enthusiastic support she has among conservatives.
"Now the United States is respected. We will miss you... you've done a fantastic job", Trump said in warm words that clearly showed there was no animus between them.
Haley was one of the foreign policy and Washington establishment's favorite Trump administration leaders. Haley discussed her resignation with Trump last week when she visited him at the White House, these sources said. When a White House adviser said Haley had been confused in prematurely announcing more sanctions against Russian Federation, she said simply, "With all due respect, I don't get confused". The latter two are CEOs of private companies in SC.
In recent months, her star had faded a bit, with Tillerson replaced by the brash Mike Pompeo and John Bolton taking over as national security advisor.
"Well, I had a personal conversation with the president about Charlottesville, and I will leave it at that", Haley told CNN's Dana Bash at the time. Marco Rubio (R., Fla.). She's not going to blow that now by undertaking a futile primary campaign that'll completely alienate the former and partially alienate the latter by wrecking the party's only hope for White House control in 2021, namely, Trump's reelection.
Update: Here's Haley's resignation, dated ... last Wednesday. The Senate overwhelmingly confirmed her to the post in January 2017, by a vote of 96-4.
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