U.S. Ambassador to U.N. Nikki Haley quits, to take time off

U.S. Ambassador to U.N. Nikki Haley quits, to take time off

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, is resigning “to take a little time off,” President Donald Trump said on Tuesday, as she became the latest

in a long line of high-profile departures from the administration.

U.S. President Donald Trump talks with U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley in the Oval Office of the White House after it was reported the president had accepted the Haley's resignation. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

Trump said he had accepted Haley’s resignation and would name her successor within two or three weeks. She will leave at the end of the year, he said.

Appearing beside Haley in the Oval Office, Trump praised her and said he hoped she could come back to the administration.

FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump speaks as U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley looks on at the United Nations Global Call to Action on the World Drug Problem during the 73rd U.N. General Assembly in New York, U.S., September 24, 2018. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

“We’re all happy for you in one way, but we hate to lose (you). ... Hopefully, you’ll be coming back at some point. Maybe a different capacity. You can have your pick,” Trump said.

A former governor of South Carolina who is the daughter of Indian immigrants, Haley is seen as a rising star in the Republican Party and a possible candidate for the 2020 presidential elections.

But she said on Tuesday she would not be running in 2020 and would campaign for Trump.

Echoing previous statements from Trump, Haley said the United States under his presidency is now respected around the world.

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“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,” she said.

Haley is the latest in a long list of senior staff members to leave the Trump administration, including former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who was fired in March.

Earlier this year, Haley, 46, told Reuters that, “Every day I feel like I put body armor on,” to protect U.S. interests at the United Nations.

Haley discussed her resignation with Trump last week when she visited him at the White House, Axios news site reported.

Reporting by Roberta Rampton and Steve Holland; Additional reportng by Doina Chiacu, Makini Brice, Susan Heavey and Lisa Lambert; Writing by Alistair Bell; Editing by Jonathan Oatis