Former Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said Tuesday that her upbringing helped her succeed on the world stage, reflecting on the conversations she had with President Trump before she accepted the job.
Appearing on "Fox & Friends" with hosts Steve Doocy, Ainsley Earhardt and Brian Kilmeade, Haley said that she is used to being underestimated and that she appreciates it.
"It motivates me to be stronger. I kick with a smile. And so, I know how to be tough. I know how to get what I need done. I don't care what people think; I care what people see me do," she said.
"We weren't white enough to be white. We weren't black enough to be black. People didn't know who we were, what we were, or why we were there," she told the "Friends" hosts.
"And, I remember, my mom would always say, 'Your job is not to show them how you're different. Your job is to show them how you're similar," said Haley.
"And, that lesson that I learned from being teased on the playground played out when I was legislator, governor, and ambassador," she added. "Because, when you're going against the Russians, my job was to first tell them what we had in common and then go and try to get to the solution of how we were dealing with it."
Haley said that when President Trump approached her about the ambassadorship, it was important to her to set both of them up for success.
"I had been a governor. I didn't want to work for someone else. I wanted to make sure that we could work together and so I asked for it to be a cabinet position," she said. "I love policy. I wanted to be on the National Security Council so that I was there when he made his decisions."
Haley said she told the president she didn't want to be a "wallflower or a talking head" and that she needed to be able to speak her mind.
"And he said, 'That's exactly why I want you to do this.' And, he was true to his word from the first day to the last," Haley stated.