Trump names South Carolina governor and ‘proven dealmaker’ Nikki Haley UN ambassador

Donald Trump has tapped South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley to be the next ambassador to the United Nations, just hours before naming charter-school reformer Betsy DeVos as his Education secretary.

Trump said Wednesday morning that Haley had accepted the diplomatic position, which requires Senate confirmation.

He called her a ‘proven dealmaker’ in a statement, adding, ‘We look to be making plenty of deals.’

‘She will be a great leader representing us on the world stage,’ he said. 

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Nikki Haley, pictured on Friday in Washington, is reportedly set to be the new U.S. ambassador to the United Nations

Nikki Haley, pictured on Friday in Washington, is reportedly set to be the new U.S. ambassador to the United Nations

President-elect Donald Trump, pictured here leaving the New York Times office on Tuesday, is expected to make the announcement on Wednesday

President-elect Donald Trump, pictured here leaving the New York Times office on Tuesday, is expected to make the announcement on Wednesday

Trump spokesman Jason Miller told reporters during a Wednesday morning conference call that the transition team ‘may have an additional cabinet-level announcement later today.’

Asked which post would be filled, he played coy: ‘We’ll have to keep you in suspense.’

That turned out to be DeVos. 

Haley said in a statement: ‘Our country faces enormous challenges here at home and internationally, and I am honored that the President-elect has asked me to join his team and serve the country we love as the next Ambassador to the United Nations.’

A Trump source had previously told NBC that Haley had accepted the cabinet offer.

The 44-year-old is the daughter of Indian Sikh migrant parents. She now identifies as Christian and her husband, Michael, is an officer in the Army National Guard.

Haley, who graduated from Clemson University with a degree in accounting, is the first woman of Indian descent to serve as a United States governor. She is also the first woman to govern South Carolina and the youngest sitting executive of any state.

From 2005-2011 she was a member of the South Carolina House of Representatives. 

Earlier this year, Time Magazine named her among ‘The 100 Most Influential People’ of 2015 for leading with ‘determination, grace and compassion’ during a challenging year for South Carolina which saw the killing of nine black worshipers at a South Carolina church and a catastrophic flood.

Haley also oversaw the removal of the Confederate flag after it had flown for 54 years at the South Carolina Capitol grounds.

Although she has criticized Trump for his proposed Muslim ban and supported Florida Sen. Marco Rubio in the GOP primary, the mother-of-two is pro-life and supports lower taxes in her state.

Trump contributed $5,000 to a pro-Haley political group in 2012, according to the Charleston Post and Courier.

Haley was reportedly considered for secretary of state before Trump decided on the UN Ambassador position.

The GOP politician does not have a foreign policy background. The Post and Courier says she has negotiated economic development deals for her state and led seven trade missions, however. 

An eight trip to Sweden, in 2015, for negotiations involving a Volvo plant was secret at the time.

South Carolina is home to Boeing’s only jet manufacturing plant outside of Washington. BMW’s only plant in the US is also in her state, the Post and Courier reported.

As such, four of Haley’s eight trips abroad since 2011 were to attend air or auto shows. 

A trip to Paris in 2011  for an air show also included a stop in Germany to tour BMW’s headquarters. She combined a second trip to Sweden in 2015 with a Frankfurt auto show.

Trips to Japan, Canada and India were categorized only as trade missions. 

Haley, 44, is  the governor of South Carolina. She's the first woman of Indian descent to govern a state. She's pictured here in February at a Marco Rubio rally

Haley, 44, is  the governor of South Carolina. She’s the first woman of Indian descent to govern a state. She’s pictured here in February at a Marco Rubio rally

Haley is pictured here on the third day of the Republican National Convention on July 20, 2016

Haley is pictured here on the third day of the Republican National Convention on July 20, 2016

‘Governor Haley has a proven track record of bringing people together regardless of background or party affiliation to move critical policies forward for the betterment of her state and our country,’ President-elect Trump said Wednesday.

‘She is also a proven dealmaker, and we look to be making plenty of deals. She will be a great leader representing us on the world stage.’

Trump is currently working to fill administration positions ahead of his inauguration on January 20.

Since winning the election he has been ensconced in his own properties, where he has met a conveyor belt of Republican heavyweights, senior members of the media, the Japanese prime minister and even Brexit leader Nigel Farage.

He has also held talks at his golf course in New Jersey, including a meeting with former rival Mitt Romney.

After returning to New York, on Monday, Trump invited executives from NBC, ABC, CBS, CNN, Fox News, MSNBC and Fox Business Network to Trump Tower for what was supposed to be an off-the-record meeting.

But according to one insider it was more like ‘a f***ing firing squad’ in which Trump branded the execs ‘liars’ and ‘dishonest’ – and singled out CNN president Jeff Zucker, telling him ‘I hate your network, everyone at CNN is a liar and you should be ashamed.’

Trump’s former campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway, described the meeting as ‘very cordial, very productive, very congenial,’ and ‘very candid and honest’.

On Tuesday, Trump had a meeting with The New York Times, where he delivered a measured response to the paper’s reporters and its publisher, Arthur Sulzberger Jr.

Trump was spotted leaving his private jet after it landed at Palm Beach International Airport around 7pm on Tuesday

Trump was spotted leaving his private jet after it landed at Palm Beach International Airport around 7pm on Tuesday

Ready for Thanksgiving: Melania and their young son Barron were also present on the tarmac

Ready for Thanksgiving: Melania and their young son Barron were also present on the tarmac

Trump supporters stood at the entrance to Palm Beach Island to welcome Trump home with Trump/Pence campaign banners and flags

Trump supporters stood at the entrance to Palm Beach Island to welcome Trump home with Trump/Pence campaign banners and flags

‘I have great respect for the New York Times. I have tremendous respect. I think I’ve been treated very rough,’ he said. He said their coverage was ‘the roughest of all’ and said of his campaign: ‘It’s been 18 months of brutality in a true sense.’

Later on Tuesday he headed to his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach for Thanksgiving.

Trump’s motorcade was cheered on by supporters as it carried him and his family from Palm Beach International Airport to their luxury pad.

His plans far the holiday involve ‘hopefully eating some turkey,’ said Trump transition spokesman Jason Miller. ‘I would hope that Thanksgiving dinner would be on the list,’ he said, when asked about Trump’s plans.

‘But If you know the president-elect, there’s never too long of a break as he wants to get right back at it he knows that we have a finite amount of time to get both the cabinet and the administration put together,’ Miller continued.

Trump on Tuesday offered a senior job to Republican rival Ben Carson and condemned the controversial alt-right movement.