14:08 GMT22 September 2020
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    There has been speculation that Nikki Haley, a former US ambassador to the United Nations, could become Donald Trump’s running mate in the 2020 election, but the diplomat has since moved to scotch the rumours.

    Donald Trump’s senior advisers, Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump, have recommended kicking Vice President Mike Pence off the 2020 Republican ticket and replacing him with Nikki Haley, according to Axios reporter Jonathan Swan.

    “Certainly, there have been a number of people telling people in the White House, including the president’s son-in-law Jared Kushner and daughter Ivanka Trump, that Nikki Haley would be a politically smart choice to replace Pence,” Swan said on MSNBC’s First Look. “So this is partly why a lot of these rumors have been circulating.”

    Haley, who represented the US in the United Nations in 2017-2018, took to Twitter last week to explicitly shut down the “false rumours,” as she put it, and pledged “complete support” for Pence.

    The rumour emerged in June after Andrew Stein, the former head of the New York City Council used a Wall Street Journal opinion piece to call upon Trump to replace Pence with Haley in order to win “politically moderate suburban women” and improve his chances of re-election.

    Trump was quick to reject the speculation, telling Fox Business, “I love Nikki. She's endorsed me. She's my friend. She's a part of my campaign,” but that Mike Pence “has been a great vice president” and “is the person [to run together with in 2020], 100 percent.”

    Instead of replacing the vice president, Haley has reportedly signed on as a “special guest” for a Trump-Pence fundraiser in the fall.

    Jonathan Swan said that her announcement came as “somewhat of a relief” to some members of the Trump administration.

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