US President-elect Donald Trump has announced South Carolina Governor, Nikki Haley, as UN ambassador.
Haley, 44, a rising star in the Republican Party and a daughter of Indian immigrants, has led South Carolina since 2011. She is Trump’s first female appointee to a Cabinet-level post, and she would be taking on a position that requires intense diplomatic and navigational skills in an often-frustrating international bureaucracy.
In 2015, Haley drew national praise and attention for her response to a mass shooting at an African-American church in Charleston, when she called for the Confederate battle flag to be removed from the grounds of the state capitol. “By removing a symbol that divides us, we can move forward as a state in harmony and we can honor the nine blessed souls who are in heaven,” she said, while acknowledging that some saw the flag as a symbol of tradition.
During the Republican presidential primary, Haley was sharply critical of Trump’s policies, especially his proposal for a temporary ban on Muslims entering the United States, which she called “un-American.” Haley’s parents are members of the Sikh faith, but she’s a Christian and attends a Methodist church.
Haley endorsed Florida Sen. Marco Rubio ahead of the South Carolina primary, and campaigned with him vigorously throughout the state, which he lost by 10 percentage points to Trump. And when she delivered the Republican response to President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address, Haley urged the party to reject the “angriest voices” — a line widely seen as aimed at Trump.
Trump punched back, tweeting: “The people of South Carolina are embarrassed by Nikki Haley!”
“Bless your heart,” she responded.
Haley met with Trump late last week, however, and afterwards described him as “a friend and supporter before he ran for president.”
She explained her criticism of Trump as truth-telling, not an irrevocable breach: “When I see something I am uncomfortable with, I say it. When we met, it was friends who had known each other before.”
Read more: politico.com