HALEY (copy)

Nikki Haley, then-U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, smiles as President Donald Trump compliments her in October in the White House after she announced plans to leave the job. File/Calla Kessler/Washington Post

Looks like Nikki Haley won't be President Donald Trump's running mate in 2020 despite what many Republicans say could be a dream ticket.

The president on Wednesday squashed speculation of the possibility that Haley, the former South Carolina governor and Trump's one-time U.N. ambassador, would be considered to join the president's 2020 reelection ticket.

Instead, in a phone interview with Fox Business Network, Trump again said he will keep Vice President Mike Pence alongside him as he heads toward seeking a second term.

“I love Nikki. She’s endorsed me. She’s my friend. She’s a part of my campaign. But Mike has been a great vice president. He’s a hundred percent,” Trump said, according to multiple published reports of the conversation, including The Hill.

Trump did hint there are other opportunities Haley can pick up with his reelection effort and other areas going forward.

“There’s places for Nikki, and Nikki’s future is good,” he said.

The Wall Street Journal this week in an op-ed suggested Trump dump Pence and replace him with Haley, part of the continuing push among some conservatives to both hasten Haley's career toward the White House and make the ticket more appealing in a time of great divide.

Specifically, the author said Haley would help Trump with suburban women.

“I mean no disrespect for Mr. Pence, who’s loyally served the president and the nation,” said Andrew Stein, founder of Democrats for Trump. “But he’s given Mr. Trump all the help he can. He inspired his fellow evangelical Christians to take a chance in 2016.”

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Trump responded to the WSJ commentary by saying of Pence: “we won together.”

Trump’s endorsement Wednesday of Pence came after he earlier told NBC News’ “Meet the Press” he was sticking with Pence.

Haley wasn't part of that discussion because the WSJ column ran after the interview was recorded, The Hill pointed out.

Haley went from being a Trump critic during the 2016 election season over his behavior on the campaign trail to being an enthusiastic supporter when he won office and she joined the administration.

Reach Schuyler Kropf at 843-937-5551. Follow him on Twitter at @skropf47.

Political Editor

Schuyler Kropf is The Post and Courier political editor. He has covered every major political race in South Carolina dating to 1988, including for U.S. Senate, governorship, the Statehouse and Republican and Democratic presidential primaries.