Nikki Haley abruptly announced her resignation Tuesday as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, catching staff and lawmakers by surprise and leaving Washington guessing about the next move for one of the administration's most prominent figures.
National Political Reporter For Axios Jonathan Swan joined Fox News Radio's Guy Benson and Marie Harf to discuss Nikki Haley's resignation.
On how the story developed: I think they're trying to make that pipeline a little bit longer than it actually is. I think the pipeline really is only about a week. I think she told him last week. I'm sure she might have had a conversation with him six months ago about perhaps leaving at the end of the year, but really the resignation conversation was last week. I honestly, I've been trying to find out all day, I still don't know what really happened. I still don't know. I've been told various stories by various people. Some of them are very flattering, warm, lovey stories from people who are close to her. Some of them are full of Machiavellian speculation. (00:55)
On who Dina Powell is: She was the Deputy National Security Advisor under H.R. McMaster. She works at Goldman Sachs. She went back to Goldman Sachs. She previously served in the Bush Administration she is a very well connected political person, but more importantly here she is personally very close to Nikki Haley. She is the favored candidate by Jared and Ivanka. (2:19)
On the theories of why Nikki Haley left: I would only say something like that if I had a high enough degree of confidence that it was true. Rex Tillerson loathed Nikki Haley and the feeling was very much mutual and he did whatever he could to box her out. Kelly was a very active participant as well. Her advantage there was always that Trump couldn't stand Rex and she was a good media performer. Pompeo comes in certainly a much more powerful Secretary of State than Rex ever was or could have been. John Bolton was a much more dominant assertive National Security Advisor than H.R. McMaster ever was or could have been. So there just wasn't as much running room. But, again I don't have knowledge, that I feel comfortable with, to know that was part of her motivation. (5:52)
On the timing of her resignation before the midterms: That is a question I don't have an answer to and frankly people in the White House are asking the same question. Why couldn't she have waited until after the midterms? Somebody who is close to Nikki said to me that they thought it would have looked bad if let's say they lose the House it would look like she was abandoning ship. There was not a win-win situation. One other data point that I think is interesting. Politico reported her finances. She's not a wealthy person at all. There was a reasonable amount of debt actually that they reported. So, it may be that she may want to spend a bit of time in the private sector. (8:20)