This morning began with a surprise resignation from the White House. Nikki Haley, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, says she will step down by the end of the year. When she and President Trump spoke to reporters at the White House today, they took turns praising each other.
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PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: She's done an incredible job. She's a fantastic person, very importantly, but she also is somebody that gets it.
CHANG: And Haley tried, preemptively, to answer a question about her future.
NIKKI HALEY: For all of you that are going to ask about 2020, no. I am not running for 2020. I can promise you what I'll be doing is campaigning for this one. So I look forward to supporting the president in the next election.
CHANG: All right. NPR national political correspondent Mara Liasson joins me now to talk about all of this. Hey, Mara.
MARA LIASSON, BYLINE: Hi, Ailsa.
CHANG: So why now? Why is Haley stepping down now?
LIASSON: Well, that is a really good question. We don't know exactly why now, but we do know that she wrote her resignation letter six days ago, which would have been just as President Trump was attacking Christine Blasey Ford. That might not have looked so good if she'd resigned then. She says she's term eliminating yourself. She's going to go into the private sector. We know that she and her husband are not wealthy people. They have a lot of debt, based on her financial disclosure form. So for someone who does want to run for president maybe sometime in the future — time to go make a lot of money — she is staying on till the end of the year. But it made sense for her to announce this now because in case the Republicans lose big in the midterms, she doesn't want to be seen as kind of a rat deserting the sinking ship.
CHANG: Right. Running for the hills.
CHANG: So the thing that's different about this departure compared to other exits we've seen from the Trump administration is that Haley seems to be leaving on good terms with President Trump. Is that actually the case?
LIASSON: Yes. It sounds like it's the case. She is the most adept political operator in the Cabinet. You know, she has been just an Acela ride away, but somehow being out of Washington has allowed her to carve out this independent political persona as a loyal Trump Cabinet member but not a sycophant. She's tougher on Russia than he is, although that's true of many members of his foreign policy team. But she has been able to separate herself from Trump when it suits her purposes. Remember when she said there would be sanctions on Russia then Larry Kudlow said, no, Nikki Haley is confused. And she retorted very firmly and said, I don't get confused.
CHANG: I don't get confused, yes.
LIASSON: She also wrote an op-ed piece saying on the one hand she wasn't anonymous — the internal anonymous resister — but also pointing out that she does from time to time differ with the president, but she brings those differences up privately. Now, some Republicans grumbled that was pretty self-aggrandizing, but once again she was able to burnish her own brand as someone independent, foreign policy hawk, but not a total Trumpist.
CHANG: She actually could kind of have it both ways. OK. So...
LIASSON: Yes. She's actually managed to have it both ways, which shows you that she is a really good politician.
CHANG: So as we heard Haley just say, she won't be running for president in 2020. But are we to assume that this is really the end of her political career?
LIASSON: We are certainly not, and nobody does. She's not going to challenge the president in a primary in 2020. She hasn't ruled out not running for president. A lot of people think she'll run in 2024, or possibly she'll take a Senate seat in South Carolina if one comes open. But her presidential ambitions are well-established, and it was really interesting. People who are following her career and speculating about its future paid careful attention to what she said about Ivanka and Jared today. She said that Jared was such a hidden genius that no one understands. Ivanka, of course, the president has talked about as a possible replacement for Nikki Haley. So she is staying on good terms with all the members of the Trump family.
CHANG: That's NPR's Mara Liasson. Thanks, Mara.
LIASSON: Thank you.
今天早上，白宫传出令人震惊的辞职消息 。美国驻联合国大使妮基·黑利表示她将于今年年底离职 。今天，她和特朗普总统在白宫会见记者，二人轮流称赞对方 。
唐纳德·特朗普总统：她的工作完成得非常出色 。她是了不起的人，非常重要的是，她也是能出色完成任务的人 。
妮基·黑利：我想对所有想问我是否会参加2020年总统大选的人说，不会 。我不会参加2020年总统竞选 。我可以向你们保证，我会为选举助选 。所以，我期待能在下届选举中支持特朗普总统 。
张：好 。下面我将和NPR新闻的国家政治记者玛拉·利亚森连线，详细谈论这件事 。你好，玛拉 。
利亚森：这是一个非常好的问题 。目前我们不知道她辞职的确切原因，不过我们知道她的辞职信是在6天之前写的，当时特朗普总统正在攻击克莉丝汀·布莱西·福特 。如果她在那时提出辞职，可能看上去并不是太好的时机 。她说她认为任期要有限制 。她将进入私营部门 。我们知道，她和她丈夫并不富有 。从她的财产申报来看，他们一家有很多债务 。因此，对想在未来竞选总统的人来说，也许现在是时候去赚大钱了，她将任职到今年年底 。她现在宣布辞职也合情合理，因为万一共和党人在中期选举中遭受重大损失，她不想被看作是抛弃沉船的老鼠 。
张：嗯 。逃之夭夭 。
利亚森：对 。听起来的确是这样 。她是内阁中最内行的政治操盘手 。她乘坐阿西乐特快列车出行，而离开华盛顿使她可以塑造出特朗普政府忠诚成员的独立政治形象，而不是被当作阿谀奉承者 。她对待俄罗斯问题的态度比特朗普更严厉，尽管特朗普外交政策团队中的大多成员均是如此 。但是黑利能在符合自已的目的时与特朗普分开 。要记住，她宣布将制裁俄罗斯之后，拉里·库德洛驳斥了她的说法，并说妮基·黑利“犯糊涂” 。而黑利则坚定地反驳称，“我并没有糊涂” 。
利亚森：她还发表了一篇社论，一方面表示她并不是政府内部的匿名抵制者，另一方面指出她的确有时会和总统意见相左，不过她会在私下提出分歧 。现在，一些共和党人抱怨那是在自我吹嘘，但是她再次成功地将自已打造成外交政策方面的独立鹰派，而不是完全的特朗普主义者 。
利亚森：对 。她的确设法做到了两者兼顾，这表明她是一名极其优秀的政治家 。
利亚森：我们肯定不会，也没有人会这样认为 。她不会参加2020年总统选举初选 。但是她并没有排除不参加总统竞选的可能性 。许多人认为她会参加2024年总统竞选，或者她可能会在南卡罗来纳州参议院任职，如果该州参议院出现席位空缺的话 。但是她当总统的雄心已经得到了确认，这点非常值得注意 。人们在密切关注她的政治生涯并猜测她的未来，他们仔细留意了她今天谈及伊万卡和贾里德时说的话 。她说贾里德是无人了解的隐藏天才 。当然，总统曾谈到伊万卡是接替妮基·黑利的人选之一 。因此，可以说黑利与特朗普所有家庭成员均保持着融洽的关系 。
张：以上是NPR新闻的玛拉·利亚森带来的报道 。谢谢你，玛拉 。
1. in case 以备；以防；免得；
In case anyone was following me, I made an elaborate detour.
2. on good terms with 关系融洽；友好相处；
Madeleine is on good terms with Sarah.
3. carve out 开创(事业)；赢得(工作)；
Wood has not had much luck in carving out a career.
4. have it both ways 两全其美，两者兼得；
That lulled the Fed, with its tight focus on the consumer price index, into thinking it could have it both ways: high growth with low inflation.