BREAKING NEWS: Nikki Haley suddenly quits as Trump's ambassador to the United Nations saying 'I'm NOT running' in 2020 while praising Ivanka and Jared as she sits beside president who says: 'She's made it a more glamorous position'
By Francesca Chambers, White House Correspondent For Dailymail.com
Published: 10:17 EDT, 9 October 2018 | Updated: 11:30 EDT, 9 October 2018
Nikki Haley abruptly resigned on Tuesday morning as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. She'll leave her post in December.
President Trump announced the departure from the Oval Office where he said that she 'has been very special to me' and 'is a fantastic person' who's done a 'terrific job.'
'We've done a fantastic job together,' he said, citing the progress toward a nuclear deal with North Korea. 'We're all happy for you in one way, but we hate to [lose] you.'
He said that she would hopefully she would return in another capacity – telling her she could have her pick of jobs if she wants to come back.
'I think she's helped make it a much better position, if you want to know the truth,' he said of her tenure at the United Nations, where she was known for fiery speeches defending America's interests. 'I wonder why, but it is. I mean, she's made it a more glamorous position. She's made it a more important – more importantly, a more important position.'
Haley has been considered a rising star within the Republican Party and a leading candidate for president in 2020, if Trump decides not to run for reelection. She put those rumors to rest on Tuesday, though, in the joint appearance, where she said she would be campaigning for the current Oval Office occupant in 2020.
'No I'm not running,' she said. 'I look forward to supporting the president in the next election.'
Nikki Haley abruptly resigned on Tuesday morning as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations . She'll leave her post in December
The resignation was first reported by the news website Axios.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders did not confirm it but said a tweet minutes after Axios reported the resignation: 'President Trump and Ambassador Nikki Haley will meet in the Oval Office at 10:30am this morning. This event will be open to the pool.'
The president subsequently said in a tweet that he'd be making a 'Big announcement with my friend Ambassador Nikki Haley in the Oval Office at 10:30am.'
Haley said she doesn't have 'anything set' on where she's going to go next. She said it's been eight years of 'intense time' in her life. She catapulted from governor of South Carolina to United Nations ambassador.
She said her family has been very supportive of her career and there are 'no personal reasons' for her departure other than a belief that public servants should be term-limited and recognize when it's time to leave.
Trump said that they would stay in 'constant touch' and he would continue to rely on her for advice on foreign affairs.
'She got to know the players,' he said of China, Russia and India. 'She knows everybody on a very first name basis, and they like her.'
Haley spoke glowingly of the president and his family, including son-in-law Jared Kushner and the president's elder daughter.
'Jared is such a hidden genius that no one understands,' she said. 'And Ivanka has been such a great friend.'
She said the couple that volunteers their time at the White House in unpaid senior adviser positions 'do a lot of things behind the scenes that I wish more people knew about.' Haley credited Kushner, specifically, for his work on an as-of-yet unseen Middle East peace plan.
Nikki Haley abruptly resigned on Tuesday morning as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations
Trump's tweet suggested that Haley is leaving the administration on good terms, despite recent clashes with the president, and he offered her high praise his remarks.
She spoke out strongly in favor of Christine Blasey Ford after the university professor levied an accusation of sexual assault against Judge Brett Kavanaugh.
'It turns my stomach. It really turns my stomach. I mean, Ms. Ford needs to be heard, but Brett Kavanaugh needs to be heard and the Senate has a responsibility here,' Haley told Fox News. 'They have to lead, they have to make sure it’s fair, they have to make sure it’s responsible and they have got to take the politics out of this situation.'
Haley defended the president in strong terms, however, a day later when a reporter asked her about an alleged plot to remove Trump from office using the 25th amendment.
A Cabinet-level member of the Trump administration since the Republican took office, she said 'no one is questioning' the president's mental acuity.
'It is completely and totally absurd,' Haley said at a late September news conference. 'No one is questioning the president at all. If anything, we’re trying to keep up the pace with him in the fact that he’s got a lot that he wants to accomplish very quickly, and we’re going to continue to support him in the way that he does that.'
Apparently, that support will no longer involve her acting as the face of the United States on the global stage at the United Nations.
Even before her announced departure from the Oval Office, Haley had already wiped her Twitter bio of any mention of the United Nations and the Trump administration.
A State Department source indicated to DailyMail.com that her resignation wasn't as abrupt as it seemed.
'She didn't tell anyone at State before she told the White House, but people suspected this was coming,' the person said. 'She was asking some of us a few months ago about timing. Seems now like she decided to wait until Justice Kavanaugh's confirmation was over so she wouldn't be a distraction.'
Trump said that she told him roughly six months ago that she want to take time off at the end of a two-year stint.