Closings: Schools, churches, day-cares and businesses

UN Ambassador Nikki Haley resigns

UN Ambassador Nikki Haley told her staff that recent violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, brought her back to the "sad days dealing with the Charleston tragedy in 2015," when she was South Carolina's governor.

US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley resigned Tuesday directly to President Donald Trump, according to multiple sources familiar with her decision.

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders tweeted that “President Trump and Ambassador Nikki Haley will meet in the Oval Office at 10:30am this morning. This event will be open to the pool”.

Teasing an announcement in the Oval Office this morning, Trump called Haley “my friend.”

“Big announcement with my friend Ambassador Nikki Haley in the Oval Office at 10:30am,” he tweeted.

Axios was first to report the news that Haley resigned.

The former South Carolina governor was tapped as ambassador to the UN following Trump’s election win despite supporting Florida Sen. Marco Rubio in her state’s all-important 2016 presidential primary and later backing Texas Sen. Ted Cruz.

When asked if she would take the job by then-chief of staff Reince Priebus, Haley was intrigued but had some conditions.

First, she told Trump she wanted to be a member of the Cabinet and the National Security Council, privileges enjoyed by her predecessors in the Obama administration. Perhaps most importantly, she wanted the latitude to be herself, to say what she wanted.

“I said ‘I am a policy girl, I want to be part of the decision-making process,'” she told CNN in a 2017 interview, recalling the conversation with Trump. “He said, ‘done.’ And I said, ‘I don’t want to be a wallflower or a talking head. I want to be able to speak my mind.’ He said, ‘That is why I asked you to do this.’ In all honesty, I didn’t think they were going to take me up on everything I asked for. And they gave me all that. So how do you turn that down?”

During her more than a year-and-a-half on the job, she has repeatedly spoken her mind, whether it’s going further on human rights than many of her administration colleagues or denouncing racism at home.

Read the text of Haley’s resignation letter addressed to President Donald Trump:

October 3, 2018

Dear Mr. President:

It has been an immense honor to serve our country in your Administration. I cannot thank you enough for giving me this opportunity.

You will recall that when you offered me the position of United States Ambassador to the United Nations in November 2016, I accepted the offer based on some conditions. Those conditions included serving in your Cabinet and on the National Security Council and being free to speak my mind on the issues of the day. You made those commitments and you have absolutely kept them all. For that too, I will always be grateful.

We achieved great successes at the UN. We passed the toughest sanctions against any country in a generation, pressuring North Korea toward denuclearization. We passed an arms embargo on South Sudan that will help reduce violence and hopefully bring peace to that troubled country. We stood up for our ally Israel and began to roll back the UN’s relentless bias against her. We reformed UN operations and saved over $1.3 billion. We spoke out resolutely against dictatorships in Iran, Syria, Venezuela, Cuba, and yes, Russia. Through it all, we stood strong for American values and interests, always placing America first. I am proud of our record.

As a strong supporter of term limits, I have long believed that rotation in office benefits the public. Between the UN Ambassadorship and serving in the South Carolina Governorship and General Assembly, I have been in public office for fourteen straight years. As a businessman, I expect you will appreciate my sense that returning from government to the private sector is not a step down but a step up.

Accordingly, I am resigning my position. To give you time to select a replacement, and to give the Senate time to consider your selection, I am prepared to continue to serve until January 2019.

At that point, I will once again become a private citizen. I expect to continue to speak out from time to time on important public policy matters, but I will surely not be a candidate for any office in 2020. As a private citizen, I look forward to supporting your re-election as President, and supporting the policies that will continue to move our great country toward even greater heights.

With best wishes and deep gratitude,

Nikki Haley