5 things to know about Trump's U.N. pick: S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley

President-elect Donald Trump has chosen South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley to become the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.

Trump said in a statement that he chose Haley because of her proven reputation as a “deal-maker,” who can work with people from both sides of the aisle. "She will be a great leader representing us on the world stage,” Trump said.

So, who is the new ambassador? Here are five things to know about Haley.

Haley became the 1st woman to become governor in South Carolina.

Haley made history in 2010 when she was elected the first female governor of South Carolina. She was the Tea Party backed candidate.

 
 

She vehemently spoke against Trump on the campaign trail

 

She may have been chosen by Trump, but Haley is not a  long-time supporter of the president-elect. She criticized Trump throughout the Republican nomination campaign and endorsed Florida Sen. Marco Rubio during the South Carolina primary. After Rubio dropped out, Haley backed Trump opponent Ted Cruz. In October, she said she would vote for Trump, but was “not a fan.”

She is the daughter of immigrants from India 

Haley was not only the first female governor in South Carolina, but also the first minority governor. As the daughter of immigrants from India, Haley was outspoken against Trump’s anti-immigration stance when she gave the Republican Party response to President Obama’s State of the Union address in January.

"During anxious times, it can be tempting to follow the siren call of the angriest voices," Haley said. "We must resist that temptation. No one who is willing to work hard, abide by our laws, and love our traditions should ever feel unwelcome in this country."

Trump reacted by calling her stance on immigration “weak.” "She's very weak on illegal immigration," he said during Fox & Friends. "I feel very strongly about immigration. She doesn't."

She doesn’t have much foreign policy experience

Haley has little foreign policy experience, but supporters noted she has traveled abroad at least eight times during her two terms as South Carolina governor. Her husband Michael was deployed to Afghanistan's Helmand Province in 2013 as a member of the Army National Guard. The couple have two children: Rena, 18, and Nalin, 15.

She called on the state to remove the Confederate flag: ‘It’s time to move’ it

Following the horrific killing of nine black church members by a white gunman in June of 2015, Haley called on the state to remove the Confederate flag from the statehouse. The massacre prompted many in South Carolina to question whether the flag's presence on public property delivered a not-so-subtle message of bigotry.

"For many people in our state, the flag stands for traditions that are noble. Traditions of history, of heritage, and of ancestry," Haley, a Republican, said. "At the same time, for many others in South Carolina, the flag is a deeply offensive symbol of a brutally oppressive past."

South Carolina later removed a Confederate flag from its Capitol grounds.

Follow Mary Bowerman on Twitter: @MaryBowerman 

Contributing: David Jackson and William Cummings. 


JOIN THE CONVERSATION

To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the
Conversation Guidelines and FAQs

Leave a Comment