Former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley said Friday that she resisted pressure from top White House staffers to oppose President Donald Trump because going along would have run afoul of the U.S. Constitution and the American people.
"We had a disagreement," Haley told the Liberty University Convocation in Lynchburg, Va., which was broadcast on Newsmax TV. Donald Trump Jr. spoke at the convocation earlier this week.
Haley, 47, who served from January 2017 through the end of last year, was referring to former White House Chief of Staff John Kelly and ex-Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.
The former South Carolina Republican governor discussed the incident in her new book, "With All Due Respect," which was released Tuesday.
Haley's comments Friday came during a question-and-answer session with Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr.; his wife, Becki Falwell; and David Nasser, senior vice president for spiritual development.
"They pulled me to the side and said, 'Look, we're trying to save the country and we need you to join us with that,'" she said. "It's not that they thought the president was unfit or rogue, they disagreed with him on policy.
"The problem with that is when the American people elect a president, they elect him because of what he says he's going to do," Haley said.
"For others to come in who are unelected, to go and think they know better than [Trump], it's not only against the Constitution, it's against the people who elected him.
"At that point, I certainly wasn't going to work with them," Haley said, noting that Tillerson and Kelly opposed President Trump's decisions to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal and the Paris climate accord — and to move the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
"These were policy issues he ran on," Haley told the students. "These were policy issues that he was trying to implement.
"But it goes to show that when people do try to push you in a certain direction, trust your gut, go to that core and make sure you do what is right.
"My loyalty was to the president and to the American people," Haley said. "At the end of the day, that's where we need to be, regardless of what other egos there are in the room trying to get you to go the other way."
© 2021 Newsmax. All rights reserved.