President-elect Donald Trump announced Wednesday that he will nominate South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley to be U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, selecting a rising Republican star and daughter of Indian immigrants for the prestigious post.
Haley’s nomination marks Trump’s first female appointment to a Cabinet-level post and comes as his advisers are seeking to diversify the incoming administration’s ranks. Haley is generally considered a mainstream Republican, with views on military and national security matters that fall within the GOP’s hawkish mainstream.
“Governor Haley has a proven track record of bringing people together regardless of background or party affiliation to move critical policies forward for the betterment of her state and our country,” Trump said in a statement. “She is also a proven dealmaker, and we look to be making plenty of deals. She will be a great leader representing us on the world stage.”
The statement said Haley has accepted the offer and quoted her as saying: “Our country faces enormous challenges here at home and internationally, and I am honored that the President-elect has asked me to join his team and serve the country we love as the next Ambassador to the United Nations.”
Haley, 44, who is serving her second term, has worked on trade and labor issues as governor but brings little foreign policy experience. She met with Trump last Thursday at Trump Tower in New York as part of the round of sessions the president-elect has held with possible nominees.
If confirmed, Haley would be replaced by South Carolina’s Lt. Gov. Henry McMaster, a top Trump ally. His ascension is seen inside of Trump’s inner circle as a welcome consequence of her departure, the person said — a way to promote them both.
Haley has taken at least eight trips abroad since taking office in 2011, including visits to Germany, according to the Post and Courier, which first reported that Trump would nominate Haley.
Haley also represents the addition of a rival. She was critical of some of Trump’s proposals, such as his temporary ban on Muslims’ entry to the U.S., during the Republican primary contest and backed Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) in its early months.
When she gave the GOP response to President Obama’s State of the Union address last year, Haley criticized the “angriest voices” within national politics and their “siren call” to voters, a line widely seen as a not-so-subtle shot at Trump’s campaign.
But when she visited Trump last week, Haley told reporters that she never disliked Trump in spite of her past comments.
“He was a friend and supporter before he ran for president, and was kind to me then. But when I see something I am uncomfortable with, I say it,” she said. “When we met, it was friends who had known each other before.”
This article was written by Robert Costa and Jerry Markon from The Washington Post and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.
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