Nikki Haley announced Tuesday that she was resigning as the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations by the end of the year.
The former governor of South Carolina offered no specific reason for why she was leaving but she shot down speculation that it was to prepare to challenge her current boss for the White House. “No, I am not running for 2020,” she said. “I look forward to supporting the president in the next election.”
Haley also offered effusive praise for the first family, singling out Trump son-in-law and presidential adviser Jared Kushner.
“Jared is such a hidden genius that no one understands,” said Haley. “What I have done working with him on the Middle East peace plan, it is so unbelievably well done.”
Trump too offered praise for his “friend.”
“Nikki Haley, ambassador to the United Nation has been very special to me. She’s done an incredible job,” said Trump. “She’s somebody who gets it. She’s been at the United Nations from the beginning.”
Haley has served in the position since January 2017 and was widely seen as having a good working relationship with President Trump.
It was not immediately clear what precipitated her departure or who might replace her but she has been a rare official in Trump’s cabinet who has voiced criticism of some of his more extreme views — particularly during the 2016 campaign.
Haley took a notable stand at the United Nations for her work demanding Russia be held to account for election meddling and their international actions. She has also regularly sounded the alarm about atrocities in Syria and played a role in the U.S. airstrikes on that country after the regime launched chemical weapons attack on its own people in April.
Haley has also spoken up in favor of women who have accused Trump of sexual misconduct, saying that they should be heard.
“They should be heard, and they should be dealt with,” she told CBS in an interview last 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.”