Nikki Haley, the first American of Indian descent to hold a cabinet-level position in the US, resigned as Ambassador to the UN on Tuesday and said that despite speculations she was not planning to run for President in 2020.
CNN said that Haley sent her resignation directly to President Donald Trump, who told reporters in the Oval Office that she would be leaving the post at the end of the year after doing “an incredible job”.
Joined by the former South Carolina Governor in the Oval Office, Trump invited her to come back in a different role. “You can have your pick,” he said.
According to reports, the President said that Haley had told him six months ago she wanted to take some time off. She was confirmed as US envoy to the UN in January 2017.
The daughter of Indian immigrants, Haley was a frequent and early critic of Trump during his election campaign while she served as South Carolina Governor.
In December 2017, she said that the women who had accused Trump of sexual assault “should be heard”. At one point she suggested that Trump’s rhetoric could trigger a world war.
Talking to reporters, Haley said that despite speculation, she was not planning to run for the White House and would be campaigning for Trump, who has already announced his re-election bid.
Her exit came after she served as the temporary President of the UN Security Council for one month. Haley’s Twitter bio has already removed all references to her role as UN Ambassador.
From the beginning of her tenure, Haley stood out as a fierce advocate of Trump administration’s policies, announcing the US would be “taking names” of countries that did not support US votes, the Washington Post said.
She spoke often of the need for reform within the UN and its peacekeeping forces as well as frequently chastised UN agencies for taking anti-Israel stances.
Haley pushed for Security Council resolutions imposing tougher sanctions on North Korea and chastised members who the administration suspected had been cheating.
In April, she clashed with the White House when a Trump aide suggested she had prematurely announced a new round of sanctions against Russia.
Haley also acknowledged her policy disagreements with the President in an op-ed in the Washington Post in September when she slammed an anonymous senior administration official who penned an opinion piece in The New York Times, describing a chaotic administration in which many of Trump’s aides disagreed with their boss.
“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,” she wrote in the op-ed.