UN Ambassador Nikki Haley will be leaving her position at the end of the year, announced President Trump on Tuesday.
The decision came as a surprise to most White House officials, who questioned why she would make such an announcement right before midterms.
“She’s done a fantastic job and we’ve done a fantastic job together,” said Trump, adding that Haley told him six months ago she was considering taking a break from public service.
Haley was appointed to the UN position in November 2016. Before that, she served as Governor of South Carolina for six years.
Despite her opposition to Trump during the 2016 elections, Haley went on to become an invaluable member of his administration and a dependable voice at the UN. Her position was not an easy one, especially considering the global criticism regarding Trump’s decision to withdraw from the JCPOA and his recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
Haley’s job – in her own words – was to defend America on the world stage. “For those that don’t have our back, we’re taking names,” she said during her first day as ambassador.
When she announced Trump’s decision to withdraw from the UNHRC in June, Haley described the organization as a “protector of human rights abusers” and a “cesspool of political bias.”
Haley did not give a specific reason for her decision to resign, but confirmed she would not be running for office in 2020.
“I think that it’s just very important for government officials to understand when it’s time to step aside,” she said. “And I do think that sometimes it’s good to rotate in other people who can put that same energy and power into it.”
Trump said he plans to have a replacement lined up by the end of the month. “I think it’s become maybe a more glamorous position than it was two years ago..Nikki Haley has made it a better position.”