Nikki Haley has not only become the international face of Donald Trump’s administration, but some in the White House worry she could move into the Oval Office herself.
That is the conclusion of several Trump aides who talked to author Michael Wolff for the explosive new book “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House.”
Based on conversations with top Trump aides, the book says Haley is “as ambitious as Lucifer” and widely is seen in Trump’s inner circle as a potential replacement for the New York mogul at the top of the Republican ticket.
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One senior Trump aide worried to Wolff that the former S.C. governor “'is so much smarter” than Trump.
One-time senior strategist Steve Bannon, seeing Haley as a threat to his more nationalist agenda, worked to ensure Secretary of State Rex Tillerson would be replaced by CIA Director Mike Pompeo rather than Haley should the Texas oilman quit the State Department, the book claims.
Meanwhile, Haley has worked to get into Trump’s inner circle, befriending the president’s daughter Ivanka Trump and receiving “notable amount of private time” with Donald Trump while on Air Force One.
A one-time critic of Trump during the 2016 election campaign, Haley joined the administration and has burnished her political credentials at the U.N., even as she has created space between herself and Trump.
Wolff’s book has become a bestseller by exposing inside gossip among White House aides, many of whom are quoted questioning Trump’s conduct and competence.
Publishers moved up the book’s release date after Trump’s attorney called for publication of the book to be halted and for Wolff to apologize.