Nikki Haley defends President Trump's rhetorical style in media interview

Nikki Haley, the departing U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, claims that President Trump's unpredictable rhetoric has often worked to the diplomatic advantage of the United States.

In an interview Wednesday with NBC's "Today" show, Haley explained her working dynamic with the president, referencing negotiations with other world ambassadors.

"We would partner in that. He would ratchet up the rhetoric, and I'd go back to the ambassadors and say, you know, he's pretty upset. I can't promise you what he's going to do or not, but I can tell you if we do these sanctions, it will keep him from going too far," she said.

Haley said she was "trying to get the job done."

"I got the job done by being truthful, but also by letting him be unpredictable and not showing our cards," she said.

Haley said working with the president involved being truthful to herself and to him, as well as being able to tell him when she thought matters were going in the right or wrong direction.

Haley also discussed the murder of activist Jamal Khashoggi, saying "I think we need to have a serious, hard talk with the Saudis to let them know we won't condone this, we won't give you a pass, and don't do this again."

"And then," Haley added, "I think that the administrations have to talk about where we go from here."

She also acknowledged how Saudi Arabia has helped the U.S.

"What I can tell you that is so important is that the Saudis have been our partner in defeating and dealing with Iran, and that has been hugely important," Haley said.

But she reinforced her tough response from earlier in the interview, saying "when these things (such as the murder of Khashoggi) happen, we have to step back and never back away from our principles."

Haley will be leaving her post at year's end, but said she has not set plans for the next stage of her career -- despite speculation that she may run for president at some point.

"I think a lot people have talked about what I may be doing in the future," she said. "But I can promise you, Michael (her husband Michael Haley, an officer in the South Carolina Army National Guard) and I have never talked about running for president, what that would look like, anything like that."

She said that's because their lives have been "such a fun surprise."

"The only decision I've made right now is that I'm looking forward to sleeping in," she said.