Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker, R-Tenn., said Nikki Haley’s resignation from her post as U.S. ambassador to the U.N. “didn’t surprise” him and was likely planned and not the result of a conflict with President Trump.
Haley said in an Oval Office announcement she wanted to take a break from public service and believed it was time for someone else to take the position. Prior to serving as ambassador to the U.N., Haley was South Carolina’s governor for six years.
Corker said he saw her resignation coming months ago.
"I went to see Nikki three months ago and I got the sense she had planned to do this for a couple of years and would maybe try to do something in the private sector or elsewhere because she had just been in government so long," the Tennessee Republican said Monday when reporters asked him to respond to her resignation. "This didn't surprise me at all."
Corker said he accepts Haley’s explanation “at face value,” and does not believe it came in response to a conflict with the Trump administration or the president.
“I don’t think anything occurred,” Corker said. “It seems to me to be a very warm relationship. She’s doing what I think is something she had planned to do for some time."
[Also read: Bob Corker won't rule out replacing Nikki Haley]
Corker’s point of view contradicts pundits who questioned the timing of her resignation announcement and whether it came as a result of a conflict with the Trump administration. Some even speculated on social media that she resigned in response to the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, who faced a string of uncorroborated sexual assault allegations.
Former South Carolina governor Rep. Mark Sanford, R-S.C. expressed suspicion over her departure. “Something doesn’t smell right. Something’s weird,” he said.