Nikki Haley Says She Declined to Be Considered for Secretary of State

Posted: Sep 07, 2017 10:27 AM

Editor's note: This article incorrectly stated that Haley declined an offer to be secretary of state. She was only under consideration and it has been corrected to reflect that. I apologize for this error.

Nikki Haley, the now U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, declined to be under consideration for Secretary of State, she said in an interview with CNN.

“I’m very aware of when things are right and when they are not,” Haley said. “I just thought he could find someone better.”

Haley worried her resume wasn’t a right fit for the position. Her experience as governor prepared her to handle a lot of things, but being in charge of American diplomacy wasn’t one of them.  

After she explained her reasoning, then White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus called her to ask about being the ambassador to the UN.

While she was interested, she said she had conditions that needed to be met.  

First, she told Trump she wanted to be a member of the Cabinet and the National Security Council, privileges enjoyed by her predecessors in the Obama administration. Perhaps most importantly, she wanted the latitude to be herself, to say what she wanted. (CNN)

“I said ‘I am a policy girl, I want to be part of the decision-making process,’” she said of her conversation with Trump. “He said, ‘done.’ And I said, ‘I don’t want to be a wallflower or a talking head. I want to be able to speak my mind.’

To her surprise, Trump obliged.

He said, ‘That is why I asked you to do this.’ In all honesty, I didn’t think they were going to take me up on everything I asked for. And they gave me all that. So how do you turn that down?”

Haley has been widely praised for her work at the United Nations thus far, with some saying she's the "finest U.S. ambassador to the UN in over 50 years."