Nikki Haley has announced her resignation as the US ambassador to the United Nations. IShe said on Tuesday that she will leave her post in January.
Haley and Donald Trump announced her departure in the Oval Office. The timing came as a surprise to her colleagues at the state department and at the UN security council.
Both the president and the outgoing envoy heaped praise on each other, to emphasise that she was not leaving on hard terms.
Haley portrayed her departure as the act of a conscientious public servant.
“I think you have to be selfless enough to know when you step aside and allow someone else to do the job,” she said.
Asked about Haley’s successor, Trump said there were “a number of people that would very much like to do it”, saying that Haley had made it “a more glamorous position”.
Among the possible candidates is the president’s daughter Ivanka, and Haley went out of her way to praise her and her husband, Jared Kushner, who acts as a presidential adviser on the Middle East, and who is working on an Israeli-Palestinian peace plan, though its unveiling has been delayed multiple times.
“Jared is such a hidden genius that nobody understands,” Haley said, crediting him with the replacement of the Nafta trade agreement and claiming the Middle East peace plan was “unbelievably well done”.
She added: “And Ivanka has been just a great friend, and they do a lot of things behind the scenes that I wish more people knew about. Because we are a better country because they are in this administration.”
Another candidate is the former deputy national security adviser Dina Powell, who spent last weekend with Haley and their families on a boat in South Carolina.