President Donald Trump’s former Ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, says in a new book that top administration officials sought her help to undermine the president and ignore his policy directives in the interest of “saving” the country.
In a new memoir, With All Due Respect, due out Tuesday, the former governor of South Carolina says she rebuffed the efforts by former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and former Chief of Staff John F. Kelly.
“Kelly and Tillerson confided in me that when they resisted the president, they weren’t being insubordinate, they were trying to save the country,” she writes, according to the Washington Post, which received an advance copy of the book. “It was their decisions, not the president’s, that were in the best interests of America, they said. The president didn’t know what he was doing.”
In an interview with CBS’s Norah O’Donnell, Haley called the duo’s entreaties “offensive.”
“It should’ve been, ‘Go tell the president what your differences are, and quit if you don’t like what he’s doing,’” she told O’Donnell. “But to undermine a president is really a very dangerous thing. And it goes against the Constitution, and it goes against what the American people want.”
Tillerson’s office had no comment for the Post, and Kelly said only that if providing the president “with the best and most open, legal and ethical staffing advice from across the [government] so he could make an informed decision is ‘working against Trump,’ then guilty as charged.”
Predictably, news of the palace intrigue going on during the early days of the administration was being received differently depending on the recipients’ political views. The president’s supporters saw it as yet more evidence of a “deep state” attempting to undermine him; his detractors see it as evidence that even the highest levels of his administration were concerned about Trump’s actions.
Nikki Haley has bigger balls than Rex Tillerson and General Kelly put together. I’m glad she dimed them out!— Dr.Darrell Scott (@PastorDScott) November 11, 2019
Analysis: Nikki Haley’s real disclosure?— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) November 11, 2019
Concerns about Trump’s dangerousness went right to the top. https://t.co/1VEYzYqDdA
Have gotten calls from 3 administration officials taking issue with Haley’s description of herself as both stalwart defender of Trump and concerned aide. One described her as “scarce” during her tenure. https://t.co/oyXWSEfInX— Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) November 11, 2019
The Post says the book contains only mild critiques of the President. Haley, considered by many to be a strong contender for the Republican nomination in 2024, says she supported many of the president’s international initiatives such as pulling out of the Paris Climate Accords and the U.S.-Iran nuclear deal agreed to by his predecessor, Barack Obama.