Nikki Haley Resigning as UN Ambassador

BREAKING NEWS from multiple major news outlets.

BREAKING NEWS from multiple major news outlets. No details available. Will update as news comes out.

Update (Doug Mataconis): The initial news report came from Axios:

President Trump has accepted Nikki Haley’s resignation as UN Ambassador, the two said Tuesday morning in a public Oval Office meeting. She will exit at the end of the year, Trump said.

What we’re hearing: Haley discussed her resignation with Trump last week when she visited him at the White House, two sources said. Her news shocked a number of senior foreign policy officials in the Trump administration.

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Axios was first to report the resignation earlier in the day.

Trump told reporters Tuesday that Haley raised the possibility of taking a break six months ago, and that she’s welcome back at any time.

Background: Haley, the former governor of South Carolina, was easily confirmed four days after President Trump’s inauguration in 2017.

She has overseen Trump’s shift in dealing with the UN, including the U.S. exit from the UN Human Rights Council, which Haley called the organization’s “greatest failure.”

Axios also notes that Haley wrote an Op-Ed in response to the “Anonymous” Op-Ed that was published in The New York Times last month in which she made a number of points:

Haley wrote in her response:

  • “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.”
  • “Like my colleagues in the Cabinet and on the National Security Council, I have very open access to the president. He does not shut out his advisers, and he does not demand that everyone agree with him. I can talk to him most any time, and I frequently do.”
  • “If I disagree with something and believe it is important enough to raise with the president, I do it. And he listens.”

The Associated Press, meanwhile, says that Haley will be leaving at the end of the year:

In response to some speculation Haley is denying she has plans to run for President in 2020:

The initial reports on cable news are saying that Haley had previously talked about leaving after two years in office, but the fact that this announcement came so abruptly and so close to the midterms is raising eyebrows.

UPDATE (James Joyner): The actual news seems to be rather banal, despite interesting speculation while we waited for details:

Nikki Haley will leave her job as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations at the end of the year, President Donald Trump said at the White House on Tuesday.

Trump said Haley told him six months ago she wanted a break after spending two years in the post. “She’s done a fantastic job and we’ve done a fantastic job together,” Trump said.

Haley is a former governor of South Carolina who has repeatedly deflected speculation that she might harbor presidential aspirations of her own. “It has been the honor of a lifetime,” she said in the Oval Office, thanking Trump.

“No, I am not running in 2020,” she said. She would campaign for Trump, she added.

Haley’s decision surprised several senior White House aides, Chief of Staff John Kelly and Vice President Mike Pence. Trump teased an announcement less than an hour before his appearance with Haley, after news organizations began reporting she would resign.

Along with the “Haley 2020” speculation was the notion that Lindsey Graham would be appointed Attorney General and Haley would take his spot in the Senate. Honestly, I’m not sure why AG would be that attractive to Graham or when the Senate would be a step up for Haley, who has been a governor and UN Ambassador.



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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    In this day of a radical, extremist, Republican party…Haley qualifies as a moderate who could torch Dennison in 2020. The Never-Trumpers would love her.

    She’s still way to the right of center…but with the rest of the party so fvcking far off the starboard rail…she can pull off the moderate moniker.

    She hasn’t really done anything at the UN, except polish her brand.

    When the Justice Boof allegations first came up, Haley gave a very measured and responsible reaction. Of course the old white guys in the party just attacked women. Not saying this is why she resigned…but it was a stark contrast.

  2. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    BTW…she was the last remaining reasonable person in the Dennison administration.
    Maybe Mattis…

  3. gVOR08 says:

    Yup. Haley could join Kasich and The aptly named Jeff Flake campaigning for the moderate Republican vote. I think that’s already more candidates than there are moderate Republican voters.

  4. Kathy says:

    I won’t believe anyone who claims they aren’t running in 2020, until it’s the 2020 election season and they’re actually not running.

  5. Robert C says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl: Disagree…she was a Neoconservative’s Neoconservative, a warmonger. She was/is terrible.

  6. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @Robert C:
    That’s what I said…she is way right off center, but in a party so far off the rails she looks moderate.
    Kasich is a nut-bag too. But Dennison makes all of them LOOK acceptable.

  7. Jen says:

    Unsurprising, but the timing is a bit strange. Maybe she wanted to announce on a “good” week? (And, empirically, it has been a good week for Trump.)

  8. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:


    until it’s the 2020 election season

    Unfortunately that starts in earnest after the mid-terms.
    Booker has already been in IA.
    Flake and Avenatti in NH.
    It’s already upon us.

  9. al Ameda says:

    I happen to believe that there is a very good chance that she will be a future Republican candidate for president. Unless she is perceived as a RINO she could win the nomination.

  10. Franklin says:

    She’s a Trump enabler. As far as I’m concerned that’s how history will see her.

  11. Gustopher says:

    Maybe she saw the Taylor Swift Instagram, and was shocked enough into reassessing her entire life?

  12. Kathy says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl:

    Unfortunately that starts in earnest after the mid-terms.

    The cutoff time, for me, more or less, is when candidates begin to campaign for the earliest primaries Anyone who’s name is not in the ballot is not running.

  13. An Interested Party says:

    Perhaps she’s abandoning a ship that will soon sink…

  14. grumpy realist says:

    The scuttlebutt over at RawStory is that Haley got tired of butting heads with Bolton, particularly since Bolton has been gathering more and more power.

    Have fun signing up for the U.S.-Nork war, deplorables!

  15. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    Who wants to bet against Kushner taking her job?

  16. Teve says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl: Well he Is a Hidden Genius.

  17. CSK says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl:

    Oh, thanks for that thought. I may throw up.

  18. Michael Reynolds says:

    @grumpy realist:
    They don’t want war with North Korea, they want war with Iran. That would please Netanyahu (and Sheldon Adelson) and MBS with all his lovely, lovely money, and it would make the base ecstatic as all the Proud Boys proudly watched people other than themselves go off to fight.

    It would be disastrously stupid on multiple levels including Shi’ite terror attacks in the US but toxic masculinity must be served up another losing war to soothe their hurt feelings over not being able to rape as freely as they’d like.

  19. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    soothe their hurt feelings over not being able to rape as freely as they’d like.

    With Justice Boof now seated on the Court…they are free to rape and pillage at will.

  20. Kathy says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl:

    I’m surprised he and his wife haven’t already quit and gone home.

  21. CSK says:

    She got squeezed out by Pompeo and Bolton.

  22. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Rupert Simmons:

    She will be missed.

    Like geese farts on the wind.

  23. Neil Hudelson says:

    @Rupert Simmons:

    Oh… and the correct hashtag is #Haley2024

    Hmm, an anachronistic name, a comment with no real substance, and a weak attempt to troll at the end.

    I’m assuming we’ve just met the new Whizbang? I mean Jenos. I mean William.l I mean…

  24. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Kathy: While I see your point, what would they do for a living? He owns an underwater building that he’ll NEVER be able to pump out, and she has a few fashion lines that are in trouble for ripping off other people’s designs. They may not be able to make a living off of Chinese trademark protection alone. (And is that really a thing at all?)

  25. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Rupert Simmons: You’re not going to reward Pence with a chance at the brass ring? That doesn’t sound very fair, and Nikki will barely be 60 in 2032. Too old to still be a “hottie,” I’ll admit, but still younger than anyone else running the show in the GOP.
    C’mon, be a sport about it!

  26. Kathy says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    While I see your point, what would they do for a living?

    Government salaries are notoriously inadequate for people accustomed to a certain standard of living.

    You don’t suppose they’re making a living, to the standard they’re accustomed, by selling access to El Cheeto, do you? 😉

  27. MarkedMan says:

    I have no idea why she left but I’m surprised no one has speculated it having something to do with her boss being publicly humiliated at the UN

  28. CSK says:

    Oh, dear God. Trump said he wanted to appoint Ivanka to replace Haley, but there would be “nepotism charges” if he did.

  29. An Interested Party says:

    Oh… and the correct hashtag is #Haley2024

    No wonder you were banned…looking forward to you being banned again…

  30. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Kathy: Well, I wouldn’t eliminate it from the list of possible income streams.

  31. HarvardLaw92 says:


    There is an issue brewing about improper acceptance of 7 flights on private jets belonging to three well heeled Republican donors from SC.

    She’s trying to claim a personal relationship exception, but it’s a thin claim. The story broke less than 24 hours before she announced her resignation. It may be motivating, or it may not be, but the timing of the two events is too close for me to entirely write off a connection between them.

  32. Andre Kenji de Sousa says:

    If Nikki Haley was the most honorable member of the Trump Administration imagine the most dishonorable.

  33. Kathy says:

    @Andre Kenji de Sousa:

    If Nikki Haley was the most honorable member of the Trump Administration imagine the most dishonorable.

    Easy: Trump.

  34. SC_Birdflyte says:

    The fix is in. After the midterms, Trump fires Sessions and appoints Lindsay Graham as AG. Nikki gets appointed to complete Lindsay’s term in the Senate and runs for a full term in 2020. Plenty of time to position herself for a Presidential bid in 2024.