Home / News / Is Nikki Haley Angling for Rex Tillerson’s Job? (Or Trump’s?)

Is Nikki Haley Angling for Rex Tillerson’s Job? (Or Trump’s?)

Nikki Haley
Photo Credit: a katz / Shutterstock

Back in October, Nikki Haley insisted that she didn’t wish to take Rex Tillerson’s job. The U.S. attach� to the United Nations told CNN that she “would not take” the graduation to secretary of state even if President Trump offering it to her. Once a extreme censor of Trump’s divisive policies, the former South Carolina administrator has proven to be a learned politician, anticipating ways to use her stream position to keep her boss happy but deleterious her own open station — or future pursuit prospects.

As one of the highest-ranking women in the Trump administration, Haley done headlines when she recently pronounced that the women who had accused Trump of passionate bungle “should be heard, and they should be dealt with.” In her UN Security Council debut, she became the first Trump administration central to reject Russia for its “aggressive actions” in Ukraine. She has denounced the Russians as “shameful” for ancillary Bashar al-Assad’s regime in Syria. While Trump still mostly refuses to acknowledge that Russia meddled in the 2016 election, Haley has referred to that division as “warfare.”

But Haley’s increasingly hostile and haphazard approach, at a time of flourishing doubt about the inlet of American diplomacy, suggests that what may seem as bravery on the surface competence just be domestic calculation.


Haley has taken a high-profile, low-risk pursuit and used it as an unaccepted try-out for secretary of state — or higher.

This week, she threatened UN member states with financial consequences for condemning the United States’ emperor right to make its own tactful decisions. Haley used the U.S position as a permanent member of the UN Security Council to halt a fortitude condemning Trump’s decision to commend Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. In the run-up to Thursday’s vote on a suit pursuit for the Trump administration to repel its decision, Haley sent a minute to all 192 members of the UN General Assembly. “The boss will be examination this opinion delicately and has requested we report back on those who voted against us,” review the letter, obtained by Israeli newspaper Haaretz. Her summary echoed the very first one she delivered to the UN back in January.

A rising Republican star who has won avaricious honour from Democrats, Haley was authorized as Trump’s attach� to the UN with far-reaching bipartisan support. Initial doubt about her miss of unfamiliar policy knowledge has mostly incited into praise.

A popular, two-term administrator of South Carolina, Haley graduated from Clemson University with an accounting degree, but but holding a singular political-science course. She touted her birthright as the daughter of Indian immigrants to defend Trump’s Muslim transport ban. With a intensity crew change on Trump’s unfamiliar policy group constantly on the horizon, Haley has widely been regarded as a intensity inheritor to Tillerson in Foggy Bottom.

“Ambassador Nikki Haley’s domestic batch has never been higher. She has been the slightest controversial member of a mostly controversial Cabinet,” Haley’s former arch spokesman, Rob Godfrey, told South Carolina’s Post and Courier. “The sky is the extent for Nikki Haley, it’s just a matter of what she wants to do.”

A long-rumored “Rexit” (the former ExxonMobil CEO’s orator is already leaving the State Department) could occur at any moment. Tillerson’s position within the Trump administration has been tenuous from the start. Lately, he has been an increasingly discontinued participation in U.S. unfamiliar policy, marginalized and undermined regularly by Trump on his two biggest tactful challenges, North Korea and Iran.

A day after Tillerson offering to negotiate with the North Korean regime “face to face” with “no preconditions” progressing this month, the White House said that the U.S. was not prepared to start talks with Kim Jong-un’s government.

Tillerson also reportedly clashed with Trump over the summer since the boss was unfortunate that his secretary of state couldn’t yield a viable option for dogmatic that Iran was unwell to approve with the landmark nuclear deal, which must be approved every 90 days. Tillerson doubtful a report that he contemplated resigning over the summer, but he has never denied that he referred to the boss as a “moron” during a assembly at the Pentagon.

Tillerson appears to have lost a series of inner debates within the Trump administration. By all accounts, he argued unsuccessfully for the United States to sojourn in the Paris meridian accords, and has clashed with Trump’s aides about who should be nominated to offer in pivotal State Department posts — while dozens of high-level jobs sojourn vacant.

In contrast, Haley continues to gleam on the unfamiliar policy territory Tillerson has substantially abandoned. (Tillerson’s spokesperson admitted that Vice President Mike Pence had asked the secretary if he suspicion Haley “was useful to the administration, or if he was worried about the role she was playing.”)

Haley has been rallying support for oppressive new sanctions against North Korea, while frequently echoing Trump’s exhilarated threats. She reportedly worked behind the scenes to pull the UN Security Council to pass worse sanctions on North Korea than anything seen under possibly Barack Obama or George W. Bush.

In September, Haley warned that “our country’s calm is not unlimited,” adding that Kim Jong-un was “begging for war.” She combined that the North Korean regime would be “utterly destroyed” if such a fight pennyless out.

Last week, she gave a debate in front of what she pronounced was an Iranian-made barb fired by Yemeni Houthi rebels at Saudi Arabia, and vowed to “build a bloc to really pull back against Iran and what they’re doing.” She has been almost as outspoken a censor of the Iran understanding as Trump, saying, “I’m not making the case of decertify [the agreement] … I’m observant should the boss confirm to decertify, he has grounds to mount on.”

As a former central told New York magazine recently, “Her tummy instincts are very identical to those of the president, which is substantially because they have been so in sync.”

Perhaps that is because Haley had no issue open berating America’s closest abroad allies — including Germany, Britain and France — as good as some-more than half the nations in the universe this week.

“The United States will remember this day in which it was singled out for attack in the General Assembly for the very act of sportive the right as a emperor nation,” Haley pronounced before Thursday’s UN vote, “especially when it comes to profitable its UN dues.”

Haley reportedly teamed up with Pence and White House arch of staff John Kelly to disagree in preference of the Jerusalem stipulation over the objections of Tillerson, who was worried about the intensity for assault and tactful fallout. Haley has also pushed for cuts in spending on peacekeeping, after Trump sealed an executive sequence during his first week in bureau to dramatically condense appropriation to general organizations that don’t meet a despotic list of criteria. The UN did eventually cut $600 million from peacekeeping operations — a bit some-more than half of what Haley primarily demanded. The U.S. — as the richest country in the universe — now pays about 22 percent of the UN budget.

“The United States is by distant the singular largest writer to the UN,” Haley pronounced in a debate before the General Assembly on Thursday. “We’ll be honest with you: When we make inexhaustible contributions to the UN, we also have a legitimate expectancy that the goodwill is recognized.”

The final vote, however, was a transparent defamation of the rising Trump-Haley doctrine that other countries owe the U.S. unquestioning fealty.

All 14 other Security Council members, including the other 4 permanent members — the United Kingdom, China, Russia and France — along with other major U.S. allies like Japan and Sweden, voted in preference of the resolution. Only Guatemala, Honduras, Israel, the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, and Togo assimilated the U.S. in voting against it. Twenty-one other countries did not opinion at all.

Haley won the governorship of South Carolina just 6 years after entering politics. Her aspiration and domestic comprehension are unquestioned. She may good have her eye on the secretary of state’s pursuit right now, but eventually her idea is aloft than that. She wants to be boss one day, and at the moment she has to navigate the formidable hurdles posed by the gasping blowhard who now has that job.


Sophia Tesfaye is the Deputy Politics Editor at Salon.

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