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Nikki Haley to resign as UN Ambassador at end of 2018

Then-President Donald J. Trump and then-U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley arrive Monday, Sept. 24, 2018, to the United Nations Headquarters in New York City. (Shealah Craighead/White House)
October 09, 2018

In another shocking announcement surrounding the Trump Administration, U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley has resigned.

Haley’s resignation was reportedly accepted by President Trump on Tuesday morning, two sources told Axios.

Trump and Haley held a discussion in the Oval Office ahead of the public announcement. “At the end of the year, Nikki will be leaving,” President Trump told a small pool of reporters in the Oval Office, according to a CBS News report.

Haley told the reporters she had mentioned the resignation to the President approximately six months ago, saying that she wanted a break. She also told reporters that she will be campaigning for Trump in 2020, quelling any speculation that she might join the presidential race herself.

Watch the live feed of their announcement below:

Haley said her six years as South Carolina governor followed by nearly two years as UN Ambassador has been an intense period during which she gave her all. “It has been an honor of a lifetime,” she told reporters.

Haley said her decision is not personal, but says it’s time to transition to someone else who can put their all into the position. She said officials should be selfless in realizing when a stronger figure can assume the role. “I want to make sure this administration has the strongest person to fight,” she explained.

President Trump said Haley “has been very special to me. She’s done an incredible job. She’s a fantastic person, very importantly, but she’s also somebody who gets it.”

He confirmed that Haley told him six months ago of her plans to resign at the end of the year. “She wanted to take some time off,” he said.

He also touted her accomplishments during her time at the U.N. “She got to know the players. She got to know China, Russia, India. She knows everybody on a first name basis. And they like her. … More importantly, they respect her.”

President Trump added that he will be “in constant touch” with Haley, and she is welcome to return in a different capacity should she choose.

Sources told Axios that Haley met with President Trump last week during a White House visit where they discussed her resignation. The news came as a shock to numerous senior-level foreign policy officials in the administration, and left many speculating if contention had driven her decision to resign.

Haley recently wrote a Washington Post op-ed in which she admitted disagreeing with President Trump.

“I, too, am a senior Trump administration official,” Haley wrote in her op-ed. “I proudly serve in this administration, and I enthusiastically support most of its decisions and the direction it is taking the country. 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.”

Her op-ed, titled, “When I challenge the president, I do it directly. My anonymous colleague should have, too,” was penned in response to an op-ed written anonymously by someone claiming to be a senior official in the Trump Administration.

However, Haley has been in alignment with President Trump in her recent criticisms toward Iran, China, and Russia. She recently attended the U.N. General Assembly with President Trump where they chaired the Security Council meeting.

Haley formerly served as the governor of South Carolina. She was swiftly confirmed just four days after President Trump’s inauguration.

This story has been updated with the most current events and up-to-date information.