UN Ambassador Nikki Haley has fiercely denied rumours that she is having an affair with President Donald Trump, calling the rumours "disgusting" and "highly offensive". The speculation stems from Michael Wolff's incendiary book Fire and Fury.
Rumours began to circulate when Wolff, as a guest on HBO's Real Time with Bill Maher, said that he was "absolutely sure" Trump is having an affair while in office. He added that those who read his account of the first year of Trump's presidency will be able to determine who that affair is with.
"Now that I've told you, when you hit that paragraph, you're gonna say, 'Bingo,'" Wolff said.
Readers soon zeroed in on a particular sentence regarding Trump and Haley, which reads: "The president had been spending a notable amount of private time with Haley on Air Force One and was seen to be grooming her for a national political future."
"It is absolutely not true," Haley told Politico's Women Rule podcast. "I have literally been on Air Force One once and there were several people in the room when I was there.
"He says that I've been talking a lot with the president in the Oval [Office] about my political future. I've never talked once to the president about my future and I am never alone with him.
"The idea that these things come out, that's a problem."
She also explained how rumours commonly pop up regarding women in positions of power. "It goes to a bigger issue that we need to always be conscious of: At every point in my life, I've noticed that if you speak your mind and you're strong about it and you say what you believe, there is a small percentage of people that resent that and the way they deal with it is to try and throw arrows, lies or not.
She added, citing rumours of an affair that circulated during her campaign for South Carolina governor.: "I saw this as a legislator, I saw this when I was governor. I see it now. I see them do it to other women."
Wolff did not respond to Politico's request for comment.
Haley, 46, served as governor of South Carolina and member of the state's House of Representatives before Trump appointed her US Ambassador to the United Nations. During the 2016 election Haley said she was "not a fan" of Trump, to which the businessman said on Twitter: "The people of South Carolina are embarrassed by Nikki Haley!"
Haley also discussed her career to date on the podcast, and what she thinks of Trump now. "I agree with most everything he's done policy wise..."