Nikki Haley, the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, has resigned her position and will leave her post by the end of the year.
Sitting beside Trump in the Oval Office, Haley said her 18-month stint at the United Nations had been “an honor of a lifetime” and said she would stay on until the end of the year.
A former governor of South Carolina who is the daughter of Indian immigrants, Haley is the highest profile woman in Trump’s Cabinet and is often seen as a possible presidential candidate.
But she said in her resignation letter to Trump she would “surely not be a candidate for any office in 2020” and would support his re-election bid.
She told reporters in the Oval Office on Tuesday: “No, I am not running for 2020.”
According to Axios‘ Jonathan Swan, who broke the story, several senior administration officials were caught off-guard by the announcement and no one seems to know the real backstory.
Although she denies the rumors, many hypothesize that Haley is stepping away to get ready for a possible challenge to Trump as Republican nominee for president in 2020.
“I still don’t know what happened really. I mean, I reported she resigned , she told trump that last week. I still don’t know the real backstory nor does anyone really that I’ve spoken to in the White House or outside the White House…” – @jonathanvswan w/ @NicolleDWallace pic.twitter.com/nirLVGjBt8
— Deadline White House (@DeadlineWH) October 9, 2018
Donald Trump is already floating his daughter Ivanka’s name as a possible replacement at the UN.
“I’ve heard a lot of names. I’ve heard Ivanka. … There’s nothing to do with nepotism, but I want to tell you, the people that know, know that Ivanka would be dynamite.” -Trump on speculation about who would replace Nikki Haley as US Ambassador to the UN https://t.co/7r2AuzgSLo pic.twitter.com/c0IS2V4D39
— CNN (@CNN) October 9, 2018