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Nikki Haley Leaves The UN: What To Know And What Comes Next

U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley

WASHINGTON -- U.S. President Donald Trump caught Washington, and a good portion of the U.S. political world, off guard when he made the unexpected announcement that Nikki Haley, his ambassador to the United Nations, was leaving her post.

A former governor of South Carolina, Haley held a prominent position in Trump’s cabinet and was widely seen as a solid diplomat who put to rest doubts about her lack of foreign affairs credentials.

Her diplomatic work, at least publicly, brought Trump’s punchy, confrontational approach to foreign policy into the meetings of the Security Council.

Her comments on October 9, made in the Oval Office as Trump announced her planned departure, also echoed that brash approach.

“Look at what has happened in two years with the United States on foreign policy. Now, the United States is respected,” she said. “Countries may not like what we do, but they respect what we do. They know that if we say we're going to do something, we follow it through. And the president proved that.”

She outlasted Trump’s first secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, who, unlike Haley, generated friction with Trump: on substance, on style, on mannerisms, and other matters.

Here are several things to know about Trump's first ambassador to the world body.

Sharp-Elbowed Diplomacy?

In one of her first statements upon taking up the job two years ago, Haley was decidedly undiplomatic.

"For those that don't have our back, we're taking names. We will make points to respond to that accordingly," she said.