A month before the 2018 midterm election, Nikki Haley resigns as Trump’s U.N. ambassador, catching most everyone by surprise.
Though Haley advanced Trump’s policies, she occasionally made public statements at odds with the White House and the president she served.
In her resignation letter, Haley praised the president for keeping a commitment to her that she would be “free to speak my mind on the issues of the day.”
And that she did.
In December, she said that women who had accused Trump of sexual misconduct “should be heard.” When a White House adviser said Haley had been confused in prematurely announcing more sanctions against Russia, she said simply, “With all due respect, I don’t get confused.”
Haley’s resignation blind-sided Washington punditry and the White House as well. (Trump claimed this was 6 months in the making, but, then again, Trump, you know.)
One group of DC insiders was noticeably relieved to see her go.
Some of Trump’s political advisers have viewed her warily as a potential threat in 2020 and a skeptic of the Trump agenda, spurring her to say in her resignation announcement that she would not be running for office.
The resignation prompted another group to investigate ethics.
On Monday, a watchdog group, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, asked the State Department’s inspector general to investigate the ethics of Haley accepting seven flights for herself and her husband on private planes owned by three South Carolina businessmen.
The group said the flights were between New York, Washington and three cities in South Carolina. Haley reported the flights on her 2017 public financial disclosure statement, saying the donors all were personal friends, and therefore exempt from federal rules on accepting such flights.
That doesn’t pass the smell test when it comes to Washington scandals. But speaking of smell test …