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U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley to the UN. Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP

President Trump has accepted Nikki Haley’s resignation as UN Ambassador, the two said Tuesday morning in a public Oval Office meeting. She will exit at the end of the year, Trump said, and he plans to decide on a replacement in the coming weeks.

What we're hearing: Haley discussed her resignation with Trump last week when she visited him at the White House, two sources said. Her news shocked a number of senior foreign policy officials in the Trump administration. 

Axios was first to report the resignation earlier in the day.

Trump told reporters Tuesday that Haley raised the possibility of taking a break six months ago, and that she's welcome back at any time.

  • Haley, for her part, added that she has no 2020 ambitions and will campaign for the president.

Background: Haley, the former governor of South Carolina, was easily confirmed four days after President Trump's inauguration in 2017.

She has overseen Trump's shift in dealing with the UN, including the U.S. exit from the UN Human Rights Council, which Haley called the organization's "greatest failure."

Worth noting: Haley wrote a public op-ed in September challenging the N.Y. Times' anonymous op-ed, which was written by a "senior administration official" and claimed that Trump aides saw him as a threat to U.S. democracy.

Haley wrote in her response:

  • "I don’t agree with the president on everything. When there is disagreement, there is a right way and a wrong way to address it. I pick up the phone and call him or meet with him in person."
  • "Like my colleagues in the Cabinet and on the National Security Council, I have very open access to the president. He does not shut out his advisers, and he does not demand that everyone agree with him. I can talk to him most any time, and I frequently do."
  • "If I disagree with something and believe it is important enough to raise with the president, I do it. And he listens."

Editor's Note: Get more stories like this in our weekly political lookahead newsletter, Axios Sneak Peek. Sign up here.

Go deeper

Updated 51 mins ago - Health

U.K. first nation to clear Pfizer coronavirus vaccine for mass rollout

A health care worker during the phase 3 COVID-19 vaccine trial by the Pfizer and BioNTech in Ankara, Turkey, in October. Photo: Dogukan Keskinkilic/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The United Kingdom's government announced Wednesday it's approved Pfizer-BioNTech's COVID-19 vaccine, which "will be made available across the U.K. from next week."

Why it matters: The U.K. has beaten the U.S. to become the first Western country to give emergency approval for a vaccine that's found to be 95% effective with no serious side effects against a virus that's killed nearly 1.5 million people globally.

3 hours ago - World

NYT: Biden won't immediately remove U.S. tariffs on China

President-elect Joe Biden during an event in Wilmington, Delaware, on Tuesday. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

President Trump's 25% tariffs imposed on China under the phase one trade deal will remain in place at the start of the new administration, President-elect Biden said in an interview with the New York Times published early Wednesday.

Details: "I'm not going to make any immediate moves, and the same applies to the tariffs," Biden said. He plans to conduct a full review of the current U.S. policy on China and speak with key allies in Asia and Europe to "develop a coherent strategy," he said.

Trump threatens to veto Defense spending bill over social media shield

Photo: Erin Schaff - Pool/Getty Images

President Trump tweeted Tuesday a threat to veto a must-pass end-of-year $740 billion bill defense-spending authorization bill unless Congress repeals a federal law that protects social media sites from legal liability.

Why it matters: Trump's attempt to get Congress to end the tech industry protections under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act is the latest escalation in his war on tech giants over what he and some other Republicans perceive as bias against conservatives.