On Tuesday morning, Ambassador to the United Nations (U.N.) Nikki Haley is reported to be planning on leaving her position next year as top U.S. diplomat following an announcement by President Donald Trump during a meeting in the Oval Office. The former South Carolina governor did not give an exact reason as to why she is leaving the Trump Administration, but rumors of a 2020 run for the presidency were quashed.
Although she is speculated to have ambitions to hold higher office, Haley said at the White House, “No I’m not running in 2020.”
In front of reporters, President Trump said that Haley told him “six months ago” that she wanted to “take a little time off.”
“She’s been very successful,” Trump said. “She’s done a fantastic job and we’ve done a fantastic job.” The President reiterated the efforts to solve the issues with North Korea as well as leading strong on the international stage.
Speaking to Haley’s strengths as a solid leader, Trump said, “That was really the thing I think she did best at the United Nations – she got to know the players. She got to know China, Russia, India, she knows everybody on a very first-name basis. They like her.”
President Trump added that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo “thinks the world” of Haley.
“Hopefully you’ll be coming back at some point,” Trump said to her. “You can have your pick.”
“It has been an honor of a lifetime,” Haley said, addressing a packed room in the Oval Office. She added that she felt “lucky” to have been able to “lead a state that raised me and serve a country I love so very much.”
Looking back on her career, Haley said:
“Look at two years, look at what has happened in two years with the United States on foreign policy. Now the United States is respected. Countries may not like what we do, but they respect what we do. They know that if we’re going to do something, we follow it through, and the President proved that. Whether it was with the chemical weapons in Syria, whether its with NATO…whether it’s the trade deals…they get that the President means business.”
Haley also remarked on cutting $1.3 billion out of the U.N. budget. “We’ve made it stronger, we’ve made it more efficient,” she said.
Explaining actions taken on behalf of the U.S. on sanctioning North Korea for their testing and of building nuclear weapons, rescinding the Iran Nuclear Deal, and getting an embargo on South Sudan, Haley said, “you can’t overlook the bad things their doing, you have to see them for the threat they are.”
During her time at the U.N., she also spearheaded the Trump Administration’s effort to push back against anti-Israel bias within the international governmental body. Speaking to the controversial embassy relocation in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, Haley said, “we will put our embassy where we want to put our embassy.”
She explained that her decision to resign at the end of the year was not based on personal developments, but rather that, “It’s very important for government officials to understand when it’s time to step aside.” Haley added, “It was a blessing to go into the U.N. with body armor everyday and defend America…I will never step aside from fighting for our country.”
A successor to U.N. Ambassador Haley is said to be announced in two to three weeks, whom will begin their tenure at the international body in 2019.