White House

Nikki Haley Says Cabinet Members Asked Her to Undermine Trump to ‘Save the Country’

United States Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley speaks during a United Nations Security Council meeting on the Crisis in the Middle East at the UN headquarters in New York, April 17, 2018. (Shannon Stapleton/Reuters)

Former United Nations ambassador Nikki Haley claims in her new book that several Trump administration Cabinet members worked to undermine President Trump and asked her to help in their effort to “save the country,” a request she declined.

Both former White House Chief of Staff John Kelly and former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson “confided in me that when they resisted the president, they weren’t being insubordinate, they were trying to save the country,” Haley writes in an excerpt from her book, With All Due Respect, scheduled for release on Tuesday.

“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,” the former South Carolina governor writes of what the two Cabinet members thought, adding that Tillerson even told her people would die if Trump was allowed to do things his way.

“Instead of saying that to me, they should’ve been saying that to the president, not asking me to join them on their sidebar plan,” Haley said Sunday on CBS. “It should’ve been, ‘Go tell the president what your differences are, and quit if you don’t like what he’s doing.’ 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. And it was offensive.”

Kelly pushed back on Haley’s characterization of his actions, saying 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.”

Haley stepped down as ambassador to the UN in December after gaining a reputation for her confrontational approach to carrying out Trump’s America First policy. She’s since been floated as a top contender for the Republican nomination in the 2024 presidential election.

The title of Haley’s book comes from one of her most memorable moments as a member of the administration.

“With all due respect, I don’t get confused,” Haley responded to a reporter who asked about a senior White House official’s suggestion that she may have suffered “momentary confusion” regarding the implementation of new sanctions on Russia that she had just announced.

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