Nikki Haley resigns as UN ambassador

Posted at 9:52 AM, Oct 09, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-09 10:52:56-04

(RNN) - Nikki Haley is resigning as the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations on Tuesday, media reports indicated.

Haley was one of the first members of Trump’s cabinet, confirmed four days after his inauguration.

According to Axios, she discussed her resignation with Trump last week when she visited him at the White House.

Her news shocked a number of senior foreign policy officials in the Trump administration, according to Jonathan Swan - who is a National political reporter with Axios who covers the Trump presidency and Republican leaders.

“This comes at as surprise. Ambassador Haley has been a very strong and effective advocate for the U.S. She and SG have a had a very strong working relationship which has avoided what could have been a breakdown of the U.S./U.N. relationship," one senior diplomat told CNN.

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics, a government watchdog group, asked the State Department Monday, to investigate whether Haley broke rules by accepting flights on private jets, according to the Post and Courier.

According to the report, Haley took the four flights on a plane belonging to Jimmy Gibbs, chief executive of Gibbs International in Spartanburg, SC. The flights were worth $24,000, according to CREW but Haley valued the cost at $3,219.

Tom Price, former Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price resigned in September 2017 following public ire for his use of chartered flights for state business.

Former Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt also took fire for spending hundreds of thousands on first-class flights during his tenure.

In September, she penned a Washington Post opinion piece criticizing the anonymous op-ed published in The New York Times that criticized the president. She described a productive working relationship with the president.

"I have very open access to the president,' she said. “He does not shut out his advisers, and he does not demand that everyone agree with him. I can talk to him most any time, and I frequently do. If I disagree with something and believe it is important enough to raise with the president, I do it. And he listens. Sometimes he changes course, sometimes he doesn’t. That’s the way the system should work.”

She served as governor of South Carolina from 2011 to 2017, the first woman and Indian-American to serve as governor in that state and the second Indian-American governor after Bobby Jindal, who served as Louisiana’s governor.

Before becoming governor, she served in the South Carolina House of Representatives for several years.

She was born Nimrata Randhawa in Bamberg, SC, to an Indian-American Sikh family.

She is married to Michael Haley. They have two children.

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