Departing UN Ambassador Nikki Haley denied she is stepping down later this year to prepare for a 2020 bid for the White House.
“I don’t have anything set on where I’m going to go,” she told reporters in the Oval Office. “I’m a believer in term limits.
“For all of you who are going to ask about 2020, no I am not running for 2020,” she said as Trump smiled seated beside her. “I can promise you what I’ll be doing is campaigning for this one,” she added, pointing to Trump.
“I look forward to campaigning for the president in the next election,” she said.
Trump said he and his team “hate to lose” Haley. He offered her any job in the administration if she decides she wants to return.
Watch: Trump Announces Nikki Haley’s Departure as UN Ambassador — Successor to Come in 2-3 Weeks
He said she could come back in a “different capacity,” telling her “you can have your pick.” Haley laughed as he made the latter remark.
When Trump said the UN ambassador job has been “more intense” than her years as South Carolina governor, she smiled and said, “Yes.”
Haley ticked off decisions she helped Trump implement, including moving the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.
“We will put our embassy where we want to put it,” she said.
Trump and Haley lavished each other with praise.
“You have been very special to me,” he said, saying she has done an “incredible job” and “gets it.”
She praised him and two of his family members, daughter Ivanka Trump and son-in-law Jared Kushner, who are senior White House advisers. Haley called Kushner a “genius” who does yeoman’s work behind the scenes; and she praised his role in a new trade pact with Canada and Mexico that Congress still has to approve.
Haley also called herself a “lucky girl” for having been picked by Trump for the UN post.
The president said he has “many people” who want the job, and he intends to name a nominee within two or three weeks — “maybe sooner.”