The surprise resignation of Nikki Haley as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations has triggered a scramble to find a replacement as the public face of the Trump administration at the world body.
[READ: Nikki Haley's letter of resignation]
President Trump said Tuesday that Haley foreshadowed her exit about six months ago and he expects to announce her successor, who will be subject to confirmation by the Senate, in the next three weeks.
Here are 10 potential replacements for Haley who are already getting buzz in the hours after Haley stepped down.
1. Jon Huntsman
Huntsman is the former governor of Utah and currently serves as the U.S. ambassador to Russia. He has the respect of both Democrats and Republicans. He was staff assistant to President Ronald Reagan, ambassador to China during former President Barack Obama's administration, and ambassador to Singapore during former President George H.W. Bush's administration. He is also former a Republican politician.
His decades of experience as a diplomat and foreign affairs expert and his current private sector put him in a unique position to take over for Haley.
One thing that could make Huntsman especially attractive, as opposed to Grenell, who faced a contentious Senate confirmation, is that he has received unanimous support in his previous Senate confirmations.
2. Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.
Once a prominent Trump critic, he has become one of the president's staunchest allies in recent months. A former ally and close friend of the late Sen. John McCain, he is steeped in national security issues and served as a colonel in U.S. Air Force Reserve. A hawk and critic of the U.N., at the same time Graham has strong relationships with American allies.
Graham is one of the president's strongest supporters in the Senate. His relationship with the president was only made stronger after he ardently defended Kavanaugh throughout his Senate confirmation process.
He also regularly speaks with the president and is one of the few members of Congress that has Trump's trust. The senator is in a position where he could advise the president on matters of foreign policy, but he does not seem interested in leaving the Senate.
The South Carolina senator has insisted he has no interest in serving in Trump's cabinet and is focused on serving out his term in the Senate.
"I have zero interest in serving in President Trump's Cabinet,” Graham told reporters in South Carolina Monday. “I like him, I want to help him, I want him to be successful. I think I can do more good for the country and help President Trump more effectively by being in the Senate."
3. Dina Powell
Powell — who is close to Ivanka Trump — formally served in the Trump administration as the White House's deputy national security adviser but had a much more wide-ranging role.
She left the administration earlier this year to return to Goldman Sachs as a member of the investment bank’s management committee.
Powell was, notably, with Haley over the weekend in South Carolina, the president is reportedly very fond of her, and she has the "glamour" he highlighted in Haley's tenure.
Introducing sweet friends to one of our favorite places....☀️🏝🚤 #ItsAGreatDayInSouthCarolina ❤️ pic.twitter.com/ZNygye9MaK— Nikki Haley (@nikkihaley) October 6, 2018
Trump told reporters Tuesday afternoon that Powell is definitely on the list and is someone he is actively considering. "Dina is certainly a person I would consider," Trump said on the South Lawn of the White House Tuesday.
4. Ivanka Trump or Jared Kushner
U.N. ambassador is not a joint post, but if either of these two were named it would be two for the price of one.
Moments after Haley announced her resignation, the president's daughter Ivanka Trump was immediately floated as a replacement for Haley. She has made clear her desire to move back to New York.
Arguably the largest thing going for Ivanka is that she is the president's daughter and someone who has his respect. The president is known for his strict adherence to a code of loyalty to his family and is a man that has surrounded himself with his children in and around the White House.
After nearly two years serving as a senior adviser to the president, Ivanka has a great deal of experience dealing with both U.S. and foreign officials. She is also known for being diplomatic, a voice of reason in a White House that can often become tribal, and she is careful with her words.
Trump told reporters Tuesday afternoon that he is not "sure there's anybody more competent" than his daughter, adding that there would be no "nepotism" issue should he choose her for the position.
"I think Ivanka would be incredible, but it doesn't mean I'd pick her," Trump said.
Like his wife Ivanka, White House senior adviser Jared Kushner has an extremely close relationship with the president and has backing of many of the administration's top officials. His name was mentioned in league with Ivanka for Haley's position, given his diplomatic work for the administration in Palestine, Israel, and the Middle East.
Haley gave Jared some high praise during her retirement announcement Tuesday, calling him "a hidden genius" within the administration that "no one understands." Like his wife Ivanka, he is known to miss New York.
5. Richard Grenell
U.S. Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell is one name to watch, a source with knowledge of the administration's thinking told the Washington Examiner.
Grenell spent eight years serving as a U.S. spokesman and political appointee to the U.N., making him the longest serving appointee at the U.N. in history. The ambassador served as the U.S. spokesman during many of the most contentious and troublesome periods in recent decades. Grenell, who is openly gay, ran communications during the war on terrorism, amid ongoing conflicts in the Middle East, and was there during the U.N.'s oil-for-food corruption scandal.
Another factor that could put Grenell's name toward the top of the Haley replacement list is the fact that he has a close relationship with national security adviser John Bolton. Grenell served with Bolton, who has held the post of U.S. ambassador to the U.N., in former President George W. Bush's administration. He also served as an adviser to Bolton during the Bush administration.
The president has an affinity for men and women who have an Ivy League education. Grenell received a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. But he only squeaked through by 56 to 42 votes in his Senate confirmation vote for Germany and has ruffled feathers since he arrived in Berlin. Politically, his nomination might be too heavy a lift for the Trump administration.
Andrew Surabain, an adviser to Donald Trump Jr. and former special assistant to Trump, tweeted his support for Grenell shortly after the Washington Examiner first floated his name.
[Opinion: Here's who Trump should pick to replace Nikki Haley at the UN]
.@RichardGrenell is undoubtedly the best choice to replace Nikki Haley as Ambassador to the United Nations.— Andrew Surabian (@Surabees) October 9, 2018
He's got the right experience, is loyal to @POTUS & there's no one who would be a stronger advocate for American interests at the UN than Ric.https://t.co/RHx7Rx8Z59
6. Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn.
While Corker and the president have had a rocky relationship, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee is one of the more skilled foreign policy-minded individuals in the Senate, giving him the obvious nod for any major U.S. diplomatic opening.
Also going for Corker is the fact that Trump has already offered him an ambassadorship. Trump offered Corker to become the next ambassador to Australia in late May, which the senator turned down.
The 65-year-old senator announced his intention to retire from politics once his second term in the Senate concludes this December.
Before their relationship hit a snag, Corker campaigned for the president in 2016 and was considered to be on the shortlist for either vice president or secretary of state.
7. David Petraeus
Retired Army general and former CIA Director David Petraeus has the most foreign policy experience of anyone who could fill Haley's post. Petraeus was also among the four final names floated for Trump's pick for secretary of state in 2016. The president has a fondness for leaders with high-level military experience.
The retired general did plead guilty in 2015 to a misdemeanor charge that he gave state secrets to his mistress and biographer, Paula Broadwell. That could make his potential Senate confirmation process tricky and is one reason the administration, after a contentious battle with Kavanaugh, might not choose Petraeus.
8. Former Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R.-N.H.
Former Sen. Kelly Ayotte, a longtime ally of the late Sen. John McCain, lost her re-election bid in 2016, but she has gained the respect of Trump for her efforts in helping usher Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch through his confirmation process.
Unlike Corker, who served on the foreign policy-focused committee, Ayotte served on the Senate's Armed Services, Budget, Commerce and Small Business committees. Those positions do not offer her as much hands-on experience dealing with foreign affairs and diplomats, but having the support of the president is a plus.
9. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.V.
Manchin is one of a handful of Democratic senators up for re-election in 2018 in a state that went decidedly for Trump in 2016. The Democratic senators has often tried to walk the line between voting with his Democratic colleagues while also making decisions that will sit well with the pro-Trump constituency in his state.
Unlike Corker, Manchin does not sit on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. His focus in the Senate has mainly been on appropriations, energy and natural resources, intelligence, and veterans' affairs, a policy area that he shares with Trump. But Haley has scant foreign policy credentials when she was tapped for the job.
Manchin has made diplomatic trips to the Middle East and has repeatedly weighed in on the relationship between Israel and Palestine. Polling has Manchin with a sold lead over his challenger. If Manchin won re-election, then sending him to the U.N. could help Republicans claw back a much-needed Senate seat in a state that loves Trump.
10. Rep. Pete King, R-N.Y.
King was once offered an ambassadorship during the Obama administration. Obama's White House offered King the ambassadorship to Ireland in 2009, but he turned it down in favor of staying in Congress.
The representative holds many of the same strong positions against North Korea, Russia, China, and ISIS as the president.
King is also no stranger to getting involved in diplomatic relations, acting as a player during peace talks between Catholics and Protestants in Ireland during former President Bill Clinton's administration.