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Nikki Haley Resigns As U.S. Ambassador To The United Nations

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U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley revealed Tuesday she will step down from her post by the end of the year.

Haley's resignation was announced as she sat side-by-side with President Donald Trump in the Oval Office, a rare move by a president who has frequently dismissed senior administration officials in posts on Twitter.

Trump called Haley a "fantastic person" who has "done an incredible job" and claimed she made the position of UN Ambassador "more glamorous" and "more important."

"We're all happy for you in one way, but we hate to lose you," Trump said to Haley. "Hopefully you'll be coming back at some point, but maybe in a different capacity. You can have your pick."

Trump said Haley informed him six months ago that she may resign at the end of the year, although a source told CNN the news came as a surprise to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and National Security Adviser John Bolton.

Haley called it an "honor of a lifetime" to serve as UN Ambassador and claimed there was "no personal reason" behind her decision to resign.

"It's very important for government officials to understand when it's time to step aside," Haley said. "I want to make sure this administration, this president, has the strongest person to fight."

Haley argued the U.S. is now "respected" due to Trump's foreign policy, adding, "Countries may not like what we do, but they respect what we do."

The president indicated he plans to nominate Haley's successor in two to three weeks, with a senior White House official telling CNN that Trump has a working list of contenders that has not been widely shared.

Seeking to head off speculation, Haley declared that she would not challenge Trump for the Republican presidential nomination in 2020.

"I can promise you what I'll be doing is campaigning for this one," Haley said, gesturing to Trump. "So, I look forward to supporting the president in the next election."

The timing of the announcement of Haley's resignation has been described as odd, as it comes just four weeks before the midterm elections.

The news also comes just a day after new Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh was ceremonially sworn in at the White House on Monday after allegations of sexual assault threatened to derail his confirmation.

Haley is seen as the most high-profile woman in the Trump administration, and her resignation will leave the president with just five women in his Cabinet.

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