Nikki Haley says she does not want US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson's job

Nikki Haley addresses the media in Kinshasa, Oct 27, 2017.
Nikki Haley addresses the media in Kinshasa, Oct 27, 2017.PHOTO: REUTERS

KINSHASA (REUTERS) - US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said on Friday (Oct 27) she did not want to take the job of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, whose tenure has been dogged by rumours of rifts with President Donald Trump.

Asked by reporters whether she wanted to be the top US diplomat, Haley said: "I just don't want to keep having this conversation. The focus is, I really want to do a good job now in what I'm doing."

"We have a secretary of state. Tillerson's not going anywhere, so it's really not been a topic of conversation," she told reporters in Kinshasa at the end of a week-long trip to Africa.

If she was offered the job, she said: "I would say no."

Tillerson, a former chief executive officer of Exxon Mobil, said on Oct 4 he had never considered resigning, but failed to address whether he had referred to Trump as a "moron", as NBC reported.

That was a few days after Trump said on Twitter that Tillerson was "wasting his time" trying to negotiate with North Korea after the Secretary of State said Washington was directly communicating with Pyongyang on its nuclear and missile programmes.

More recently, Trump has said he has a good relationship with his Secretary of State but that Tillerson could be tougher.

Haley, a Republican former governor of South Carolina, travelled to Ethiopia, South Sudan and Democratic Republic of Congo.