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Wednesday
Nov232016

Nikki Haley: Everything You Need to Know About Trump's Pick for UN Ambassador 

MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- President-elect Donald J. Trump has tapped South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley to serve as ambassador to the United Nations, a role currently occupied by Samantha Power.

Haley, the child of Indian immigrants, brings diversity to the nascent administration, and also showcases that Trump is willing to welcome Republicans who were lukewarm toward him during the campaign season.

But for someone selected to serve as a diplomatic official in the United Nations, Haley has little international experience.

Here’s everything you need to know about her:


Full name: Nimrata Nikki Haley (born Nimrata Nikki Randhawa)

Birthdate: Jan. 20, 1972

Age: 44

Birthplace: Bamberg, South Carolina

What she does now: Governor of South Carolina (since 2011)

What she used to do: She served in South Carolina House of Reps from 2005-2011

Education: B.S., Clemson University, Accounting

Family: Husband, Michael Haley (captain in the Army National Guard and a combat veteran; deployed to Afghanistan) and two children, Rena and Nalin.

Things you may not know about her:

She is the first female governor of South Carolina, currently the youngest governor in the U.S. and the second governor of Indian descent (the first was Bobby Jindal).

She has spoken out against Trump’s proposals to ban Muslims:


During her response to the State of the Union, she urged members of her party to resist following the “angriest voices,” which was seen as a subtle jab at Trump, even though she didn’t refer to him by name. ABC News' Jon Karl subsequently asked her what makes Trump “one of the angriest voices” and Haley pointed to his call for a temporary ban on all Muslims coming to the U.S.

“The one that got me, I think, was when he started saying ban all Muslims,” she said. “When you’ve got immigrants that are coming here legally, we’ve never in the history of this country passed any laws or done anything based on race or religion. Let’s not start that now."

What is notable:

She gained national prominence in 2015, when she removed the Confederate flag from the South Carolina state Capitol grounds. In 2016, she was chosen to lead the Republican response to the State of the Union.

History of a somewhat tumultuous relationship with Trump:

She ultimately voted for Trump, but not enthusiastically. She had supported Sen. Marco Rubio during the primaries, actively campaigning against Trump in South Carolina. At a rally in February, where she campaigned with Rubio, she said, “I will not stop until we fight a man that refuses to disavow the KKK.”

The two got into a Twitter spat in March. Trump tweeted, “The people of South Carolina are embarrassed by Nikki Haley” and she tweeted back, “Bless your heart."

At a press conference in October, she said, “This election has really turned my stomach upside down. It has been embarrassing for both parties. It's not something the country deserves, but it's what we've got."

But she agreed to meet with President-elect Trump on Nov. 17. The next day, speaking at the Federalist Society, she said his election was a rejection of both parties: “We must accept that Donald Trump’s election was not an affirmation of the way Republicans have conducted themselves ... he did not do it by celebrating the Republican Party.”

Possible red flags for Senate confirmation:


Haley has no international political experience as a politician. Before she served as governor of South Carolina, she served in the South Carolina House of Representatives, and worked in her family’s business before running for office. She has reportedly made just eight trips abroad, mainly to attend trades shows.

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