Will Ivanka Trump, Jared Kushner Replace Nikki Haley? Here are the Candidates to Take Over From Resigning U.N. Ambassador

United States Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley resigned from her post on Tuesday, leaving the White House less than a month before the critical 2018 midterm elections.

Haley, a former governor of South Carolina, was nominated to the position by Donald Trump shortly after he was elected in November 2016. She was one of the longest-serving senior officials in his administration before announcing her abrupt departure.

Haley and the president met in the Oval Office on Tuesday morning to discuss her resignation. Trump previewed the meeting, which was open to the press, with a tweet that said there was a “big announcement” happening with Haley.

“She got to know the players, she got to know Russia, China and India,” Trump said, praising Haley’s time serving in the administration and the United Nations. He told Haley that she will be missed and that she has done a “fantastic job.”

Haley will leave the White House at the end of the year. During the announcement, Haley said that her “goal” is to make sure everything is set up and ready for the next ambassador to take over at the start of 2019.

When asked about a potential replacement, Trump did not name anyone specifically but said that he has “many people” who are interested in taking on the position.

“It’s a great position,” Trump said, praising Haley for making the job of U.N. ambassador “more glamorous” and “more important.”

The president added that he will likely name a successor within the next two or three weeks.

Trump and nikki haley President Donald Trump shakes hands with Nikki Haley, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, in the Oval Office of the White House, on October 9. Haley resigned Tuesday, the latest to depart from Trump’s national security team. Oliver Douliery/AFP/Getty Images

Last year rumors circulated that Ivanka Trump, the president’s daughter and senior adviser, might replace Haley in the event that the ambassador was promoted to secretary of state. 

Haley commented on Ivanka Trump and Kushner in her remarks Tuesday, calling the president’s son-in-law a “hidden genius” for his work on NAFTA and the Middle East. She went on to call Ivanka Trump a “great friend” and praised the couple for doing a lot of work “behind the scenes.”

But the likelihood of Ivanka Trump or even Kushner being placed in the position, which requires Senate approval, is unclear, since the move may conflict with anti-nepotism laws.

Other potential replacements for Haley’s position include Dina Powell, Trump’s former deputy national security adviser.

Powell left the White House earlier this year after serving in her position for one year. During her time in the administration, Powell was instrumental to Trump’s Middle East policy and advised the president on his meetings with foreign leaders. She was responsible for planning all of Trump’s foreign trips and his first visit to the United Nations General Assembly in September 2017.

The Washington Post reported that Haley had made the decision to leave and her split with the White House was amicable, unlike many of the departures of senior staff since Trump entered the Oval Office. After leaving the administration, Powell returned to Goldman Sachs, where she now serves as the firm’s global head of impact investing.

Another rumored favorite to replace Haley is U.S. Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell. Grenell is the longest-serving appointee to the United Nations in history and has had a close relationship with Trump's national security adviser John Bolton. The two served together in former President George W. Bush's administration. 

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