President Donald Trump’s ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, has resigned, leaving the White House with one fewer moderate Republican voice in his Cabinet as his foreign policy team.
Haley, a former governor of South Carolina, had been an early and frequent critic of Trump, so when he named her the envoy to the world body weeks after his election in November 2016, the appointment was seen as a positive development.
The daughter of immigrants from India, Haley favoured free markets and global trade and earned international attention for speaking out against the Confederate battle flag in the aftermath of the 2015 massacre at a black church in Charleston, South Carolina.
During Trump’s presidential campaign, she sharply criticized his demeanour and warned what it might mean for U.S. diplomacy — even suggesting that his tendency to lash out at critics could cause a world war.
In a January 2016 response to President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address, she warned against following “the siren call of the angriest voices,” a clear rebuke of Trump.
And in December 2017, Haley said that women who had accused Trump of sexual misconduct “should be heard,” a surprising break from the administration’s long-standing assertion that the accusations were false and that voters rightly dismissed them when they elected Trump.
“They should be heard, and they should be dealt with,” said Haley. “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.”
She often clashed with her first boss, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, whose aides wanted her to first clear her public remarks with Washington.