President Trump’s ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki R. Haley, has resigned in a high-profile departure of one of the few women in the president’s cabinet.
Ms. Haley, a former governor of South Carolina, had been an early and frequent critic of Mr. Trump, so when he named her the envoy to the world body weeks after his election in November 2016, the appointment was seen as an olive branch.
The daughter of immigrants from India, Ms. Haley favored free markets and global trade and earned international attention for speaking out against the Confederate battle flag in the aftermath of the 2015 massacre at a black church in Charleston. During Mr. Trump’s presidential campaign, she sharply criticized his demeanor and warned what it might mean for American diplomacy — even suggesting that his tendency to lash out at critics could cause a world war.
As ambassador, Ms. Haley was an outspoken and often forceful envoy — someone whom foreign diplomats looked to for guidance from an administration known for haphazard and inconsistent policy positions. She was quick to voice her own opinions on the big policy issues that are high on her agenda, like Iran and North Korea.
Ms. Haley acknowledged her policy disagreements with the president in an op-ed in the Washington Post last month when she criticized an anonymous senior administration official who penned an opinion piece in The New York Times, describing a chaotic administration in which many of the president’s aides disagreed with their boss.
“I don’t agree with the president on everything,” Ms. Haley wrote. “When there is disagreement, there is a right way and a wrong way to address it. I pick up the phone and call him or meet with him in person.”
Ms. Haley also collided with the national security adviser, John R. Bolton, after she announced that Mr. Trump would lead a session of the United Nations Security Council devoted entirely to Iran. After European officials protested that this would showcase divisions in the West because of Mr. Trump’s decision to pull out of the Iran nuclear deal, the White House broadened the theme to countering weapons of mass destruction.
Mr. Bolton did not criticize Ms. Haley. But as a former ambassador to the United Nations, he drove the decision to shift the agenda. White House officials noted that under United Nations rules, Iran would have been entitled to send its president to the meeting — setting up the awkward possibility that Mr. Trump would have sat across a table from Iran’s leader.