Why Is Nikki Haley Resigning? Possible Reasons for United Nations Ambassador Leaving Trump Administration

Nikki Haley, the Trump administration’s ambassador to the United Nations, reportedly resigned her post last week. President Donald Trump explained Tuesday she had asked for some time away after serving for two years.

Haley’s resignation reportedly “shocked” senior policy officials, according to Axios. Haley’s resignation was later confirmed by The New York Times.

“She’s done a fantastic job and we’ve done a fantastic job together,” Trump said at an impromptu meeting with the press and Haley. The president also said Haley would leave at the end of this year. She was initially confirmed by the Senate in January 2017.

Haley also denied any speculation about her potentially running for president in 2020, and that she would support Trump’s bid for re-election.

Haley was seen as a more moderate Republican voice in Trump’s administration and was one of the president’s few top officials to avoid scandal. Others, like former Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price and former Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt, each left office in disgrace over reports of their attempts to cash-in on their top positions.

But Haley had publicly broken from the president and the administration before, which could explain a possible conflict between her and Trump, although no reporting has indicated any rift between the two leaders.

Here are some other reasons for why Haley could be leaving the Trump administration.

Believer in Term Limits

While sitting beside Trump in the Oval Office, Haley explained to reporters how hard she had worked over the last eight years. That time included six years as South Carolina’s governor. Haley added that she believed in “term limits.”

“It’s been eight years of intense time, and I’m a believer in term limits,” Haley said. “I think you have to be selfless enough to know when you step aside and allow someone else to do the job.”

Private Flights
On Sunday, watchdog Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, or Crew, filed a complaint with the State Department’s inspector general to investigate seven private flights Haley took with South Carolina businessmen last year.

“Ambassador Haley asserted that each gifted flight qualified for an exception based on a personal relationship with the giver. The report, however, does not provide enough information to demonstrate that this exception was applicable to the flights,” CREW said in a press release.

The former director of the Office of Government Ethics, Walter Schaub, noted Tuesday the timing of Haley’s sudden resignation.

Haley had yet to publicly comment about the allegations.

Comments about Trump

Well before Trump claimed the White House, Haley had been critical of his ways along the campaign trail in 2016. And that continued somewhat during her tenure as ambassador.

Haley said nearly a year ago that the women who had accused Trump of sexual assault or misconduct should be “heard,” an apparent break from a president who had denied the allegations against him as “fake news.”

“They should be heard, and they should be dealt with,” Haley said to CBS in December.  “And I think we heard from them prior to the election. And I think any woman who has felt violated or felt mistreated in any way, they have every right to speak up.”

More recently, Haley had openly admitted to disagreeing with Trump. Haley penned an op-ed for The Washington Post to rebuke The Times for running another opinion piece written by an anonymous Trump administration official that claimed a cadre within the administration made sure the president did not make poor decisions that could have grave effects on the country.

"I, too, am a senior Trump administration official,” Haley wrote in the op-ed published last month “I proudly serve in this administration, and I enthusiastically support most of its decisions and the direction it is taking the country.”

She added: "But 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."

GettyImages-1036645908 United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley speaks to the media ahead of the start of the General Assembly meeting at the United Nations on September 20 in New York City. Getty Images/Spencer Platt

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