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Nikki Haley resigns as Trump ambassador to U.N., catches officials off guard

In a move that caught administration officials off guard, Nikki Haley announced her resignation Tuesday as President Donald Trump’s ambassador to the U.N.

Together in the Oval Office, Trump and Haley confirmed that she would leave his administration at the end of the year.

“We’re all happy for you in one way, but hate to lose you,” Trump said, sitting alongside Haley. “At the end of the year, Nikki will be leaving.” The interaction between the two was warm, and they spent time praising each other.

A source close to Haley insisted that she’s leaving on good terms and that she was not forced out. But inside the White House, officials were caught off guard by her announcement, learning of it from reporters who started inquiring, two White House officials told NBC News.

Two other officials said there was disappointment in the West Wing that Haley chose to step down before the midterm elections in less than a month.

Read Ambassador Nikki Haley’s full letter of resignation

On the Hill, several Democrats and Republicans working for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee said they were also caught by surprise. Read more

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Nikki Haley resigns as Trump ambassador to U.N., catches officials off guard

Nikki Haley resigns as Trump ambassador to U.N., catches officials off guard

Nikki Haley resigns as Trump ambassador to U.N., catches officials off guard

Nikki Haley resigns as Trump ambassador to U.N., catches officials off guard

Nikki Haley resigns as Trump ambassador to U.N., catches officials off guard

Nikki Haley resigns as Trump ambassador to U.N., catches officials off guard

Nikki Haley resigns as Trump ambassador to U.N., catches officials off guard

Nikki Haley resigns as Trump ambassador to U.N., catches officials off guard