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Nikki Haley Said to Resign as United Nations Ambassador

Lev Radin  Pacific Press  Newscom

Sanford, a fellow former South Carolina Governor who has been allies with Haley in the past but is now an Administration critic, said of the story: "Something doesn't smell right".

But she said in her resignation letter to Trump she would "surely not be a candidate for any office in 2020" and would support his re-election bid.

Haley achieved a rare feat in the Trump administration, maintaining her personal popularity despite the president's polarizing politics.

Haley said she and Trump together had "solved a lot of problems".

I can't say enough good things about Jared and Ivanka.

Along with Grenell, other names being floated to replace Haley include U.S. Ambassador to Russia Jon Hunstman and acting Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Heather Nauert, even first daughter Ivanka Trump.

Trump nominated Haley to the United Nations job in November 2016.

Powell and Haley apparently also have a close relationship. She's repeatedly insisted that she is focused on the job at hand, not future opportunities.

"It is an honor to serve in the White House alongside so many great colleagues and I know that the president will nominate a formidable replacement for Ambassador Haley", Ivanka said on Twitter.

Mr Trump said Mrs Haley - who was confirmed in the post shortly after his inauguration - had told him six months ago she wanted to take some time off.

Haley fueled the flame when she singled out Javanka for praise.

"Jared is such a hidden genius that no one understands". She represents the Trump administration's agenda in the United Nations, a body the president has long criticized. She is expected to leave at the end of the year.

Yet it's often said that the UN's biggest peacekeeping mission is directed against the Trump White House, and Mrs Haley was seen as a valuable ally.

She listed hawkish policies to pressure Iran and the Palestinians, and the ground-breaking diplomatic outreach to communist North Korea.

Haley has emerged over the past year as one of the most popular officials in the Trump administration, particulary among supporters of Israel.

Axios was first to report the news that Haley resigned.

Ms Haley indicated she did not where her next role would be, but ruled out running for the 2020 presidency.

Haley, whose given name was Nimrata Randhawa, was elected governor in 2010 of deeply Republican South Carolina and, during the 2016 campaign, had criticized Trump over his remarks on immigrants before their political reconciliation.