Nikki Haley says she just needed a ‘break’ -- insists she won’t challenge Trump in 2020

President Donald Trump and UN ambassador Nikki Haley met in the Oval Office Tuesday to announce Haley's resignation from the post.


By all accounts, the resignation was amicable.

Nevertheless, the announcement apparently caught senior official like Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and National Security Advisor John Bolton by surprise. Top UN diplomats also expressed shock that Haley was stepping down from the post.

In the lead up to her announcement, political analysts on cable news noted that Haley had navigated the fraught landscape of the Trump administration well, managing to stay on the good side of Trump supporters and people who oppose the president. Much of it, CNN analysts noted, had to do with her hardline support of Israel.

"Many have viewed Haley as a stabilizing influence," noted Kate Bolduan.

"It's been a long time, very intense, and she told me probably 6 months ago ... I want to take a little time off," Trump said.

"She's done a fantastic job and we've done a fantastic job together," Trump said.

"It has been an honor of a lifetime," Haley said. "I'm a lucky girl."

"Countries may not like what we do, but they respect what we do," Haley added.

Haley said she didn't plan to run for president in 2020 and would campaign for Trump.