WASHINGTON — Nikki Haley, President Donald Trump’s ambassador to the United Nations, has resigned.
Haley, the former governor of South Carolina who has been considered a rising star within the GOP, was scheduled to appear with Trump in the Oval Office for a media statement.
“Big announcement with my friend Ambassador Nikki Haley in the Oval Office at 10:30 a.m.,” Trump tweeted.
The announcement came as a surprise to many in the media and the diplomatic corps. Haley had at various points been rumored as a possible Secretary of State. She had achieved the difficult feat of remaining in Trump’s good graces, something that other cabinet-level secretaries have often struggled to achieve (see a growing list of displaced advisers that includes Rex Tillerson, H.R. McMaster, and Tom Price). This strong relationship came despite the fact that Haley threw her support to Marco Rubio in the South Carolina presidential primary and later supported Ted Cruz.
It is unclear who will replace Haley at the U.N., but Haley’s departure comes at a fraught time. The Trump administration has clashed with allies in Europe and elsewhere over issues ranging from NATO dues to trade and human rights. At the same time, Trump has inspired criticism for his cozy relationship to Russian leader Vladimir Putin and his overtures to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. In a recent speech at the U.N., Trump provoked laughter when he bragged that his administration has accomplished more than any previous administration in its first two years.
Axios was first to report that Haley resigned.