By Carlo Versano
UN Ambassador Nikki Haley has resigned, the latest moderating force ー and one of the highest-ranking women ー to leave the Trump administration.
President Trump and Haley addressed the press together from the Oval Office on Tuesday morning to announce her departure, suggesting the split is amicable.
Many have speculated the former South Carolina Governor has presidential ambitions, though Haley was quick to say she is not running in 2020 and will campaign for Trump's re-election. "I look forward to supporting the president in the next election," she said.
"She's done a fantastic job, and we've done a fantastic job together," Trump said. He recalled to reporters that Haley told him six months ago she wanted to "take a break" after two years in the position. She will vacate her post at the end of the year.
Haley said that her record at the UN shows that the U.S. is "respected again" on the world stage. She also made a point to thank Trump's daughter and son-in-law, Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, saying, "We're a better country, because they've been in this administration."
Haley has been a fierce protector of Trump's often-hawkish foreign policy doctrine at the UN since she was confirmed to her post soon after the president took office. She pushed for the U.S. to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal and the UN's own Human Rights Council, aligning the U.S. with Iran, North Korea, and Eritrea in a refusal to participate in the Council's deliberations. Meanwhile, Haley has been a notably strong critic of Russia, often going further than the White House in her condemnations.
Over nearly two years, she managed to straddle a line that few in Trump's circle have been able to achieve: she was generally well-liked by the Cabinet, the establishment GOP, Trump's base of supporters, and even the president himself.