Nikki Haley will be gone as ambassador to the UN by the end of the year, and she explains in her resignation letter that it's time for a break from public service after 14 straight years. "As a businessman, I expect you will appreciate my sense that returning from government to the private sector is not a step down but a step up," she wrote to President Trump. Read the letter in full here. In it, the former South Carolina governor also pledges that she will "surely not be a candidate for any office in 2020" and looks forward to supporting Trump's re-election. Related coverage:
- Ivanka, Jared: In her news conference with Trump in the Oval Office, Haley singled out Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump for praise, reports the Hill. She called Kushner a "hidden genius," lauding his work on revising NAFTA and in the Middle East. "They do a lot of things behind the scenes that I wish more people knew about," she said of the couple. "We’re a better country because they’re in this administration."
- Who's next? Mediaite notes that one hot rumor is that Trump will thus pick either Kushner or daughter Ivanka. CNN's Jake Tapper, for instance, finds it interesting that Ivanka suddenly started following several Defense Department accounts. Another Mediaite post, asserting that either pick is an extreme long shot, notes that Ivanka reportedly laughed when she heard the speculation.
- Maybe more likely: The pro-Trump Washington Examiner, meanwhile, thinks the current ambassador to Germany, Richard Grenell, is a name to watch. The New York Times agrees, and adds former deputy national security adviser Dina Powell's name to the short list. Trump says he'll make his pick in two to three weeks.
- What's next? Haley insists her next move won't be in politics, but that hasn't stopped the speculation. The State of South Carolina notes that supporters are floating the idea she could challenge Trump or perhaps run against Sen. Lindsey Graham in 2020. Graham, for his part, lavished praise on Haley's time at the UN and said she'll play a big role in the GOP for "years to come."
- A stunner: At CNN, conservative SE Cupp writes that "this news is indeed startling—Haley is one of the most respected officials in the administration, both internally and internationally, among America's allies." Cupp writes of a "palpable and collective anxiety in some circles," given that Haley often served as a "stabilizing" force in the Trump universe.
- Educated guess: Haley’s "advisers have long tended to her political image, and stepping away now could be a logical end point if she wants to preserve her own political future," writes Maggie Haberman of the Times. "But in the short term, people familiar with her thinking said that she is likely to work in the private sector and make some money."
- Popular: An April Quinnipiac poll found that Haley was the only Trump Cabinet member to have majority approval ratings among Democrats, Republicans, and independents, reports the Washington Post. And overall, 63% approved of her performance at the UN.
- Keeping track: The New York Times has a comprehensive list of all the Trump White House departures, including four communications directors.
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