Nikki Haley Resigns As United Nations Ambassador | Trump Not Surprised
U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley announced Tuesday that, come year-end, she would be resigning the post she has held since President Trump’s inauguration. Although the move was portrayed as being a surprise, President Trump noted that he knew of her departure six months ago.
Haley announced her decision during an Oval Office meeting with President Trump. She made it clear that she had no plans to challenge the President in 2020, would campaign for him, and may have offered clues of a move to the private sector in her resignation letter, saying, “I have given everything I’ve got these last eight years. And I do think it’s good to rotate in other people who can put that same energy and power into it.”
Trump told reporters that Haley did, in fact, talk about resigning six months ago. A senior official told the AP that their discussion occurred at the same time that John Bolton was named National Security Adviser and Mike Pompeo took over for Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State.
Haley established a tough new approach at the United Nations, repeatedly hammering the body on anti-American and anti-Israel resolutions and rhetoric. The Trump Administration backed her completely, agreeing to depart Human Rights Council and to cease providing the agency at the U.N. responsible for funding for Palestinian Refugees.
Haley also notched three major Security Council victories, including against North Korea. Trump credited these moves with forcing North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un to the table, saying at one point, “If we act together, we can still prevent a catastrophe and we can rid the world of a grave threat. If we fail to act in a serious way, there will be a different response.”
Haley has otherwise been a high-profile figure at the United Nations, delivering tough talk towards U.S. antagonists and staunchly defending Israel. Right from the start, during her confirmation hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, she said, “Nowhere has the UN’s failure been more consistent and more outrageous than in its bias against our close ally Israel. Any honest assessment also finds an institution that is often at odds with American national interests and American taxpayers.”
Last December she hailed President Trump’s decision to move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, even as 128 other nations criticized the move, saying, “The United States will remember this day in which it was singled out for attack in the General Assembly for the very right of exercising our right as a sovereign nation.”
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tweeted out his thanks for Haley’s outspoken defense of Israel, saying, “Thank you Amb. Haley for standing for the truth and exposing hypocrisy at the UN. Just as the people of Israel are grateful for the rock solid support @POTUS Trump has provided Israel in the Oval Office, we are grateful for the rock solid support you’ve provided Israel at the UN.”
Meanwhile, President Trump told reporters on Air Force One that he had five possible replacements for Haley. Dina Powell was named as one possible candidate, a refugee from Goldman Sachs who served as an economic adviser and deputy National Security adviser to Trump.
Richard Grenell is another name that has been floating in the media. Grenell acted as spokesman for the UN ambassador during George Bush Jr’s administration, where he worked with John Bolton, and is presently the ambassador to Germany.
Brian Hook is a holdover from Rex Tillerson’s tenure, named as an envoy to Iran two months ago.
Mike Bentley is a U.S. Politics Editor at NONPART.com