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President Trump says Nikki Haley will leave administration by end of year

U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley addresses the United Nations Security Council, Monday, Sept. 17, 2018, at U.N. headquarters. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

Nikki Haley will leave her post as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations at the end of the year, President Donald Trump told reporters on Tuesday.

The announcement came as Trump and Haley met in the Oval Office amid multiple reports regarding Haley’s resignation.

He called Haley a “very special” person, adding that she told him six months ago that she might want to take some time off. Trump said that together, they had “solved a lot of problems.”

“I have given everything I’ve got these last eight years,” Haley said, referring to her six years as South Carolina governor as well as her time at the U.N.

“And I do think it’s good to rotate in other people who can put that same energy and power into it.”

According to Axios, Haley had already resigned and Trump had accepted her resignation.

The Associated Press, CNN and The New York Times were also among the outlets that reported Haley’s resignation.

It’s the latest shake-up in the turbulent Trump administration just weeks before the November midterm elections.

Haley’s resignation was a closely guarded secret. Congressional Republicans involved in foreign policy matters and some key U.S. allies did not get advance word from Haley or the White House.

No reason for the resignation was immediately provided. Haley, who is speculated to hold aspirations for higher office, said at the White House: “No I’m not running in 2020.”

Trump said he was considering many candidates for Haley’s job and that a successor would be named in two to three weeks — or maybe sooner.

Ivanka Trump, the president’s daughter, took to social media to clear the air regarding rumors that she would take the spot.

Haley, 46, was appointed to the U.N. post in November 2016 and last month coordinated Trump’s second trip to the United Nations, including his first time chairing the U.N. Security Council.

Before she was named by Trump to her U.N. post, Haley was governor of South Carolina, the first woman to hold the post. She was re-elected in 2014.

Last month Haley wrote an op-ed in The Washington Post discussing her policy disagreements but also her pride in working for Trump. It came in response to an anonymous essay in The New York Times by a senior administration official that alleged there to be a secret “resistance” effort from the right in Trump’s administration and that there were internal discussions of invoking the 25th amendment to remove Trump from office.

“I proudly serve in this administration, and I enthusiastically support most of its decisions and the direction it is taking the country,” Haley wrote. “But I don’t agree with the president on everything.”

As governor, she developed a national reputation as a racial conciliator who led the charge to bring down the Confederate flag at the Statehouse and guided South Carolina through one of its darkest moments, the massacre at a black church.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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