(CNSNews.com) – UN Ambassador Nikki Haley announced Tuesday that she is resigning from her post, effective at the end of the year, saying she believes in term limits and giving someone else a chance to do the job.
Appearing with President Donald Trump at the White House on Tuesday, Haley told reporters she will not run for president in 2020 but will campaign for Trump.
The president said he felt it was necessary to make the announcement in person instead of in a written statement, which is how it’s usually done.
“I wanted to do this because Nikki Haley, ambassador to the United Nations, has been very special to me. She’s done an incredible job. She’s a fantastic person, very importantly, but she also is somebody that gets it. She has been at the United Nations from the beginning with us, from the beginning and worked with us on the campaign,” he said.
Trump said Haley told him six months ago that she would be leaving.
“It’s been really a long time, very intense, and she told me probably six months ago. She said, ‘You know, maybe at the end of the year, at the end of the two-year period, but the end of the year, I want to take a little time off. I want to take a little break,’” he said, recounting their conversation.
Trump praised Haley as “a very successful governor of South Carolina for eight years.”
“And this is possibly even more intense with what’s going on in the world, and very dangerous and a lot of things, but she’s doing a fantastic job, and we’ve done a fantastic job together. We’ve solved a lot of problems, and we’re in the process of solving a lot of problems,” he said.
“At the beginning, North Korea was a massive problem, and now we’re moving along. It’s moving along really nicely. I can speak for Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. He thinks the world of Nikki, and so we’re all happy for you in one way, but we hate to lose, you’ll—hopefully, you’ll be coming back at some point, but … maybe a different capacity. You can have your pick,” the president said.
“At the end of the year, Nikki will be leaving and we’ll be in constant touch. I know that whenever you have any ideas, you can call me, ‘cause you know all the players. And that was really the thing I think she did best at the United Nations. She got to know the players. She got to know China, Russia, India. She knows everybody on a very first name basis, and they like her, except for maybe a couple, which is normal, right? They can’t all like you, but they do. They really like her, and I think maybe more importantly they respect her,” Trump said.
Haley thanked Trump “for just allowing us to come out and talk to you this way.”
“It has been an honor of a lifetime. I said I am such a lucky girl to have been able to leave the state that raised me and to serve a country I love so very much has really been a blessing, and I want to thank you for that, but I’m most excited,” she said.
Haley heralded the accomplishments the administration has made on the foreign policy front, saying the United States is respected again.
“Look at the two years. Look at what has happened in two years with the United States on foreign policy. Now the United States is respected. Countries may not like what we do, but they respect what we do. They know that if we say we’re going to do something, we follow it through, and the president proved that – whether it was with the chemical weapons in Syria, whether it’s with NATO, saying that other countries have to pay their share, whether it’s the trade deals, which have been amazing,” she said.
“They get that the president means business, and they follow through with that, but then if you look at just these two years at the UN, we’ve cut $1.3 billion in the UN’s budget. We’ve made it stronger. We’ve made it more efficient,” the ambassador said, also heralding their accomplishment with South Sudan.
“We got an arms embargo, which was a long time coming; three North Korean sanctions packages, which were the largest in a generation, done in a way that we could really work towards denuclearizing North Korea; the Iran deal, bringing attention to the world that every country needs to understand you can’t overlook all of the bad things they’re doing. You have to see them for the threat that they are,” Haley said.
“I think you look at the anti-Israel bias and the strength and courage that the president showed in moving the embassy and showing the rest of the world we will put our embassy where we want to put our embassy. All of those things have made a huge difference in the U.S. standing, but I can tell you the U.S. is strong again, and the U.S. is strong in a way that should make all Americans very proud,” she added.
When asked whether the ambassador’s decision was personal because she’s been away from her family for so long, Haley said, “My family is very supportive, so no, there’s no personal reason.
“I think that it’s just very important for government officials to understand when it’s time to step aside, and I have given everything I’ve got these last eight years, and I do think that sometimes it’s good to rotate in other people who can put that same energy and power into it. So there really is, a lot of people are gonna want to say there’s a lot of reasons why I’m leaving,” she said.
“The truth is I want to make sure that this administration and the president has the strongest person to fight. It was a blessing to go into the UN with body armor every day and defend America, and I’ll always do that. I’ll never truly step aside from fighting for our country, but I will tell you that I think it’s time,” Haley added.
When asked why Haley’s resignation was announced now instead of after the midterms, Trump said, “Well, Nikki’s going to be staying ‘til the end of the year, which will be just about two years, and I just think, and I was just – as Nikki was speaking – I was thinking when we came into office, it was almost inevitable in the minds of many that we were going to war with North Korea.
“If you ask President Obama, I’m sure he’ll tell you that that was by far his biggest problem when we sat and met right here, but that looked like a real problem. Iran looked like a real problem,” he said.
“It was a question of when would they take over the Middle East prior to my coming here, and now Iran is fighting for their lives. They’ve got riots in all their cities. It’s blowing up their inflation. Their economy is in tatters, and at some point, they’ll probably come and want to make a real deal, not the deal that they made, the ridiculous deal that they made that that was unacceptable to me,” Haley said.
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said Haley did “an outstanding job as United States Ambassador to the United Nations and showed a level of effectiveness rarely seen by someone in this position.”
“She is a clear, concise voice for American leadership, American values, and has been a true agent of reform when it came to the United Nations. I know all South Carolinians are proud of the service she rendered to our nation and the Trump Administration. Nikki Haley has a very bright future and will be a key player in both the future of the Republican Party and our nation as a whole for years to come,” he said.