NEW YORK (FOX5NY.COM) - Nikki Haley, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, on Tuesday announced her intention to step down. President Donald Trump has accepted her resignation.
The move came as a surprise to some members of her staff, many lawmakers in Washington, as well as foreign officials who work closely with her and the U.S. State Department, according to several reports.
"It has been an honor of a lifetime," Haley said during a joint appearance with the president in the Oval Office. "Countries may not like what we do, but they respect what we do."
Trump praised Haley, saying that she is "very special" to him.
"She's done an incredible job. She's a fantastic person," the president said. "But she also is somebody that gets it."
Trump said Haley will leave at the end of the year but is welcome to return to the administration.
"Maybe in a different capacity—you can have your pick," he said, as Haley chuckled.
In September, Haley was front and center as a representative of the Trump administration and the United States at the United Nations General Assembly.
Trump nominated her to be the permanent representative to the U.N. just after the 2016 election and she assumed the role in January 2017.
Before that, Haley served as governor of South Carolina, the first woman to hold the post, for six years.
Last month, Haley wrote an op-ed in The Washington Post about her policy disagreements but also her pride in working for Trump. The article was a response to an anonymous essay in The New York Times by a senior administration official claiming to be part of a secret "resistance" effort.
"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."
The writer of the anonymous essay said that some members of Trump's cabinet had discussed invoking the 25th Amendment to remove him from office.
With the Associated Press
Ambassador @NikkiHaley has done an outstanding job as United States Ambassador to the United Nations and showed a level of effectiveness rarely seen by someone in this position.— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) October 9, 2018
Ambassador Haley has served America with dignity + distinction.— Ivanka Trump (@IvankaTrump) October 9, 2018
She is a bold reformer and has been an unwavering champion of truth, principled realism and integrity within the United Nations.
Jared and I are grateful for her friendship — a true blessing in our lives! 🇺🇸 pic.twitter.com/sidkwXzPZB
I will never understand liberals who fawn over Nikki Haley. She is every bit as complicit and awful as the rest of her party but far less bombastic in her rhetoric while doing so. She is savvy, and that's basically it. Nikki Haley is not your friend. She does not care about you.— Charlotte Clymer🏳️🌈 (@cmclymer) October 9, 2018
In June, Nikki Haley announced the Trump administration's decision to withdraw from the Human Rights Council, the UN's top rights body. She then scapegoated rights groups for the decision. https://t.co/GxjeNuEf1M pic.twitter.com/wzw2oL9a9D— Human Rights Watch (@hrw) October 9, 2018
We hope that @nikkihaley’s shock resignation will bring an end to the current low point in relations between NGOs and the #US mission to the #UN and that her successor will work to repair the relationships.— AmnestyInternational (@amnesty) October 9, 2018
History books will remember Nikki Haley as a key player in the Trump administration’s campaign to undermine universal human rights and international bodies. https://t.co/8FeVb2Xlqr— ACLU (@ACLU) October 9, 2018