Heading into next month’s midterm elections, Donald Trump is trying to project as much confidence as possible. That’s not exactly going according to plan. This morning, without a whiff of advance warning, and without even bothering to give a real reason, his United Nations National Ambassador Nikki Haley abruptly resigned. We think we know why.
Yesterday the powerful Citizens for Ethics (CREW) political watchdog group publicly accused Nikki Haley of having “accepted seven free flights for herself and her husband on luxury private aircraft from three South Carolina businessmen.” This accusation got largely lost in a crazy news cycle yesterday. And this, of course, is nothing new for the Donald Trump administration; half his cabinet has been caught up in these kinds of ethics violations, and some of them resigned after spending quite a bit of time fighting to keep their jobs. But the circumstances here are different.
When Trump cabinet members Scott Pruitt and Tom Price got caught up in serious and ongoing ethics violations, they had nothing to lose by dragging it out as long as possible, and continuing to milk the system for even more personal gain on their way out the door. After all, they had no future political ambitions, and were planning to disappear from the landscape once they were inevitably forced out. But Nikki Haley is different.
You and I know that Nikki Haley’s once potential-laden political career ended the day she took a job in the radioactive Trump regime, but she doesn’t necessarily know that. In the back of her mind, she still thinks she’s going to be the Republican nominee for President someday. Now that she’s been caught up in the ethics violations that have dogged everyone who has joined Trump for his crime spree, she’s abruptly resigning in a manner that could prompt us to quickly forget about her scandal. Of course it’ll catch up with her later if she tries to enter politics again. But for now, her resignation makes it go away.
Plenty of people on social media are pointing out that if Donald Trump fires replaces Jeff Sessions with Lindsey Graham after the midterms, that’ll leave Graham’s South Carolina Senate seat open, and Nikki Haley just happens to be from South Carolina. So is there more going on here? It’s entirely possible. But the timing here can’t be ignored. When you abruptly resign one day after getting caught in a serious ethics scandal, it’s just about never a coincidence.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report