Nikki Haley’s resignation on Tuesday from her position as U.S ambassador to the United Nations took even those close to her by surprise. “Most surprising thing to me is that she has no immediate plans or job to announce,” says one such person. “My bet is she will write another book.”
Haley’s first book, released in 2012 when she was governor of South Carolina, was part of her launch as a national figure within the Republican party, and led to talk that year she might join the GOP ticket with Mitt Romney. Would another book presage a presidential run, perhaps a primary campaign against President Trump in 2020? “No indication. And no obvious roadmap,” said the person close to Haley.
For her part, the 46-year-old Haley told reporters Tuesday in the Oval Office she is not sure what she will be doing next. Her staff was reportedly only told of her plans to leave this morning. She said there were no “personal” issues with her leaving her post and added that she is “not running in 2020.”
“I will support the president,” Haley said.
She thanked Trump for giving her the “honor of a lifetime” to “serve a country I love so very much.” Haley made sure to name-check Trump family members and White House aides Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump, praising them for their work in the administration. “Jared is such a hidden genius that no one understands,” she said. She touted achievements of the Trump administration on foreign policy and said America is “respected again.”
Trump called his resigning ambassador a “fantastic person” who has done a “fantastic job” and “somebody who gets it.” The president said Haley told him six months ago she would be leaving at the end of the year.
Trump said there are “many good people” who want the position at the United Nations and said he and Haley would be looking at who he will select for her successor.