Nikki Haley unexpectedly resigned her role as United Nations ambassador on Tuesday morning, in a sudden move that has sent shockwaves through the foreign policy community and within the Trump administration.
President Donald Trump told reporters gathered in the Oval Office that Haley will leave the administration at the end of the year, and that she wants to “take a break.” Trump also said that Haley is welcome back in his administration if she wants to return.
“It has been an honor of a lifetime,” Haley said in the Oval Office. “I said I’m such a lucky girl to have been able to lead the state that raised me and to serve a country I love so very much”
Haley went on to say that she has no plans to run for president in 2020, and praised Trump’s daughter, Ivanka Trump, and son-in-law, Jared Kushner. Both serve as advisers for the president and have worked on foreign policy issues, such as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
“I can’t say enough good things about Jared and Ivanka,” Haley said. “Jared is such a hidden genius that no one understands.”
Haley is one of the more popular figures in the Trump administration. Though she’s criticized some of Trump’s moves, she wrote in a Washington Post op-ed on Sept. 7 — after the infamous anonymous op-ed in the New York Times rocked Washington — that she “proudly” serves in the Trump administration.
“I proudly serve in this administration, and I enthusiastically support most of its decisions and the direction it is taking the country,” Haley wrote at the time. “But I don’t agree with the president on everything. When there is disagreement, there is a right way and a wrong way to address it. I pick up the phone and call him or meet with him in person.”
It’s unclear who Trump will nominate to fill Haley’s role, but he said Tuesday that he’ll announce his pick in two or three weeks.
Oct. 9, 2018, 11:29 a.m.: This article has been updated.