Of all the people to comprise President Trump’s original Cabinet, Nikki Haley was among the most surprising selections. During the 2016 campaign, Haley stumped for and endorsed Ted Cruz and was one of many Republicans to subtly but surely cast her doubts about the billionaire from New York and his ability to lead the GOP to victory. But upon joining the administration as the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Haley quickly became one of Trump’s most effective allies. Whether she was pushing the agenda on climate change, Russia, Iran, or Israel, Haley has been a fierce fighter for the America First doctrine and a powerful voice for the administration.
On Tuesday, she turned in her resignation, stunning many in Washington.
According to press reports, the resignation did not come out of the blue. Both Haley and President Trump say the move was planned in advance and that the UN ambassador and former South Carolina governor had wanted to step away from the spotlight and take a break. Still, any abrupt shift on the world stage such as this is bound to get tongues a-wagging, and it remains to be seen if there is anything more to this resignation beyond the surface.
In remarks to reporters at the Oval Office on Tuesday, Haley said it had been nothing short of a “blessing” to work at the United Nations and said that it was important for people in government to know “when it’s time to step aside.” The president praised her for doing an “incredible job” as ambassador and expressed the hope that “you’ll be coming back at some point.”
Haley said she was proud of the work she’d accomplished at the UN and of the overall course for the U.S.
“Now the U.S. is respected,” she said. “Countries may not like what we do, but they respect what we do. The U.S. is strong again. It’s strong in a way that should make all Americans proud.”
It’s going to be very interesting to watch and see what Trump’s next big move will be on the international stage, because it could give us keen insight as to why Haley made this decision when she did. She has vowed to stay on for the rest of the year, so perhaps we’ll know more once the calendar turns to 2019.
Then again, maybe there are no major disagreements on the table and Haley was simply tired of the grind. We shall see…