“I get where he wants to go, and I just have my different style of getting us there,” Haley told me when we met in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday. Over the course of our conversation, on the morning of George H. W. Bush’s state funeral, she made the case for a values-driven U.S. foreign policy—albeit one that she herself has selectively applied—with hard-nosed diplomacy at its center.
She highlighted the value of Trump’s bluster about attacking North Korea, even as she told me that “diplomacy is always the right option, because war is never a good option.” She recognized Saudi Arabia as a vital partner against Iran, but insisted that Riyadh can’t be given “a pass” for the murder of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi, pointedly noting that the Saudi crown prince’s “government did this, and so he technically is responsible.” And Haley, who has announced her resignation but won’t leave her post until the end of the year, acknowledged daylight between her and the president.
“I think we agree on most things,” she said. “There are certainly things that we don’t agree on. And when we talk about it, he’s the president … My job is to go and do what he needs me to do. But for the most part, he’s been very willing to listen and very willing to come around.”