Nikki Haley, who has served as President Donald Trump’s ambassador to the United Nations since the beginning of his term, recently announced that she would be resigning at the end of the year.
Haley’s surprise exit sent shockwaves through Washington on Tuesday. Unsurprisingly, speculation surrounding the backstory to Haley’s exit has already fired up. Republican Congressman Mark Sanford of South Carolina put it bluntly on MSNBC, saying, “Something doesn’t smell right, something’s weird. I can’t put my finger on it.”
Sanford also speculated “given what she saw happen to [Tom] Price and what she saw happen to [Scott] Pruitt, maybe she just doesn’t want to risk the possibility of blemish.”
The South Carolina Congressman was referring to the recent inquiry by the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington — a left-leaning government watchdog that recently requested an investigation into Haley’s history of accepting free flights from South Carolina businessmen.
In a press release, CREW Executive Director Noah Bookbinder said, “By accepting gifts of luxury private flights, Ambassador Haley seems to be falling in line with other Trump administration officials who are reaping personal benefits from their public positions.”
While Tom Price was heading Trump’s department of Health and Human Services, a POLITICO investigation found that he took private flights on over two dozen occasions.
Sanford, who served as the governor of South Carolina before Haley, also said that he believes it’s possible that Haley might be part of a political shake-up that includes Lindsey Graham taking over Jeff Sessions’ role as attorney general, saying “those dots connect.” He went on to say “there’s something else going on that I suspect will reveal itself over time.”
During an Oval Office meeting, Haley beat back the idea that she might be preparing a 2020 primary run against Trump, saying that she will campaign with the president.