"How good would Ivanka be?" Trump said of his daughter

By Karen Mizoguchi
October 09, 2018 05:43 PM
Credit: Chip Somodevilla/Getty

Donald Trump thinks daughter Ivanka would make an “incredible” successor to Nikki Haley after her resignation as his U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.

“I’ve heard a lot of names. I’ve heard Ivanka. How good would Ivanka be?” the president told reporters on the South Lawn of the White House Tuesday. “I think Ivanka would be incredible, but it doesn’t mean I’d pick her. Because I’d be accused of nepotism even though I’m not sure there’s anybody more competent in the world.”

Trump added, “There’s nothing to do with nepotism. But I want to tell you, the people that know, know that Ivanka would be dynamite. But then I’d be accused of nepotism, if you can believe it right?”

Haley, who will be leaving her position at the end of the year, was one of Trump’s most trusted advisers and served as the 29th U.S. ambassador to the U.N. after she was confirmed in January 2017.

The first daughter, 36, waded into politics when she served on her father’s campaign and then in the White House. Prior to joining the administration, Ivanka was a businesswoman running her own fashion brand and working for the Trump family real estate business.

Shortly after, Ivanka responded to her father’s recommendation, tweeting, “It is an honor to serve in the White House alongside so many great colleagues and I know that the President will nominate a formidable replacement for Ambassador Haley. That replacement will not be me.”

Earlier in the day, the mother of two also tweeted about Haley’s resignation, writing, “Ambassador Haley has served America with dignity + distinction. She is a bold reformer and has been an unwavering champion of truth, principled realism and integrity within the United Nations. Jared and I are grateful for her friendship — a true blessing in our lives!”

During his conversation with reporters, the president said he is considering “numerous people” including his former deputy national security adviser Dina Powell, whom he said “is under consideration,” adding, “We actually have many names. I can say many people want to do it and they want to do it.” In addition, he revealed he expects to name a replacement for Haley in the next “two to three weeks.”

Donald Trump and Nikki Haley
| Credit: Evan Vucci/AP/REX/Shutterstock

Haley had arguably little experience in international affairs prior to her appointment, but she was among the trusted voices in the Trump administration when it came to foreign policy. Before becoming U.N. ambassador, she served as Governor of South Carolina and was in the South Carolina House of Representatives from 2005-11. Haley is best known for aiding in the removal of the Confederate battle flag from the South Carolina Capitol grounds in 2015.

Ivanka Trump and Nikki Haley
| Credit: Ryan Remiorz/The Canadian Press via AP

Other prominent politicians who have held the position of U.S. ambassador to the U.N. include George H.W. Bush, who served under Richard Nixon, Madeleine Albright, who served under Bill Clinton, and Samantha Power, who was Haley’s predecessor and served under Barack Obama.

Bush, who is the oldest living former president and former U.N. ambassador, was appointed to the position in 1971 and served for two years after he was in the Texas House of Representatives and was appointed to the House Ways and Means Committee where he voted to abolish the military draft.

Meanwhile, Albright was appointed in 1995 before she became the first female U.S. Secretary of State in history in 1997.