“I don’t agree with the president on everything;” Nikki Haley wrote in September and it seems a month later there might be more to it.
Ethics groups recently requested an investigation into Haley over whether she inappropriately accepted flights from South Carolina businessmen.
She just resigned as UN Ambassador, despite an unusual Tweet from the President which sounded upbeat:
Big announcement with my friend Ambassador Nikki Haley in the Oval Office at 10:30am.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 9, 2018
Doesn’t read like a guy about to fire someone or who is on the way out…
Trump says he gets along great with Rod Rosenstein, but Haley is off to greener pastures – or perhaps just less rocky roads. She walked past reporters in the White House on Tuesday morning but did not comment.
The former South Carolina governor had served since January 2017. Haley, 46, has represented the Trump administration at the UN amid several international crises, including efforts to dismantle North Korea’s nuclear program and ease conflict in Syria.
Her news shocked a number of senior foreign policy officials in the Trump administration.
The 2017 flights, which Haley listed on her public financial disclosure report this year, were between New York, Washington and three cities in her home state of South Carolina, where she was governor before joining the Trump administration. The watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington said the flights were likely worth about $24,000 and should be investigated by the State Department’s inspector general.
“By accepting gifts of luxury private flights, Ambassador Haley seems to be falling in line with other Trump administration officials who are reaping personal benefits from their public positions,” Noah Bookbinder, executive director of the group, said in a statement. “Our ethics laws are clearly written to prevent even the appearance of corruption and improper influence.”
At a “minimum,” Bookbinder said, Haley should have been sensitive to the appearance of accepting pricey gifts from businessmen — especially at a time when other Trump officials have been caught in scandals for lavish travel.
Haley argued in her disclosure that the flights, which she valued at $3,200, were exempt from ethics regulations because of her personal relationship with the businessmen who paid for the gifts. Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington argued that Haley didn’t provide enough information supporting the claim.
The news comes less than a month after the United Nations General Assembly in New York City, which was somewhat of a rocky affair for the president. During his address to the UNGA, world leaders laughed at Trump as he claimed his administration had accomplished more than any other in US history.
Haley claimed the media had mischaracterized the laughter and contended it was actually a sign of respect.
“They love how honest he is,” she told “Fox & Friends” in late September. “It’s not diplomatic, and they find it funny. I mean, when he goes and he is very truthful, they kind of were taken back by it.”
“Whether he said good things about him or not, they love that he’s honest with them,” Haley added at the time. “And they’ve never seen anything like it, so there’s a respect there. I saw that the media was trying to make it something disrespectful; that’s not what it was. They love to be with him.”
This story is developing.