KINSHASA, Democratic Republic of Congo — U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley said Friday that she is tired of speculation that she may soon replace Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, saying that she would reject the offer if it came.
“I would say no,” she said in an interview.
Haley spoke at the end of a three-nation African trip in which she often filled the traditional role of the secretary of state, the country’s top diplomat. She met with the leaders of Ethiopia, South Sudan and Congo as an envoy for President Trump and delivered messages about good governance, human rights and security that go beyond her portfolio as ambassador to the United Nations.
“I just don’t want to keep having this conversation. The focus is, I really want to do a good job now in what I’m doing,” Haley said in an interview with The Washington Post and Reuters. “We have a secretary of state. Tillerson’s not going anywhere, so it’s really not been a topic of conversation.”
Pressed, she said she would turn down the position if Trump offered it.
Tillerson, who was traveling in the Middle East and Europe while Haley was in Africa, has denied reports that he is fed up with dysfunction in the Trump administration and planning to quit. His relationship with Trump has cooled in recent months, however, and he has clashed with senior White House officials.
In recent interviews, Tillerson has said he intends to remain on the job.