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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

GOP Rep. Clay Higgins says he has COVID for second time

Rep. Clay Higgins during a 2019 House Oversight and Reform Committee hearing on Capitol Hill. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call

Rep. Clay Higgins (R-La.) Sunday evening that he and his wife have contracted COVID-19 for a second time and "this episode is far more challenging."

Driving the news: "Becca and I had COVID before, early on, in January 2020, before the world really knew what it was," he wrote in a Facebook post, confirming his son also has the coronavirus — which he described as a "biological attack weaponized virus."

Updated 1 hour ago - Sports

Olympics dashboard

📺: The Olympic events to watch today; Olympics opening ceremony ratings plunge

🏊: Athlete spotlight — Katie Ledecky adds to Games career medals haul; Caeleb Dressel leads Team USA to gold.

🏀: U.S. Men's basketball suffers first Olympic loss since 2004

🤖: The robot Olympics

🚨: Heat wave brings scorching temperatures to Tokyo Olympics

🎤: Meet the new faces of NBC's Olympics coverage

Go deeper: Full Axios coverage

2 hours ago - Sports

Olympics opening ceremony ratings fall to 33-year low

Wally Skalij /Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Ratings for the Olympic Games opening ceremony were down 36% compared to 2016, according to preliminary numbers from NBC Universal. 

Why it matters: The figures for the Tokyo Games event mark the lowest audience for an Olympics opening ceremony event in over three decades, per Reuters.