US President Donald Trump has accepted Nikki Haley’s resignation as US ambassador to the United Nations, saying she would be leaving his administration at the end of the year.
In the White House’s Oval Office on Tuesday, Trump called the ambassador a “very special” person “who gets it”, adding that she told him six months ago that she might want to take some time off.
Trump said that together they “solved a lot of problems”.
Haley, 46, said she had no immediate plans, and denied she would be running for president in 2020.
Trump said he was considering many candidates for Haley’s job and that a successor would be named in two to three weeks.
Haley was appointed to the UN post in November 2016.
Before she was named by Trump to her UN post, Haley was governor of South Carolina, the first woman to hold the post. She was re-elected in 2014.
‘I don’t agree with the president on everything’
A rookie to international politics, Haley was an unusual pick for to be UN envoy.
The daughter of Indian immigrants, Haley clashed with then-candidate Trump during the 2016 campaign, denouncing “the siren call of the angriest voices” who disrespected America’s immigrants. Trump tweeted that “The people of South Carolina are embarrassed by Nikki Haley.”
Last month Haley wrote an op-ed article in The Washington Post discussing her policy disagreements but also her pride in working for Trump. It came in response to an anonymous essay in The New York Times by a senior administration official that alleged there to be a secret “resistance” effort from the right in Trump’s administration and that there were internal discussions of invoking the 25th Amendment to remove him from office.
“I proudly serve in this administration, and I enthusiastically support most of its decisions and the direction it is taking the country,” Haley wrote. “But I don’t agree with the president on everything.”
Haley is the latest in a long line of high-profile departures from the administration, such as former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who was fired in March, and Steve Bannon, Trump’s chief strategist, who left in August 2017.
Her resignation was also a closely guarded secret. Congressional Republicans involved in foreign policy matters and some key US allies did not get advance word from Haley or the White House.