Sat, Dec 08, 2018 - Page 6 News List

Trump expected to pick Nauert for UN ambassador

IN FAVOR:The former ‘Fox & Friends’ anchor who oversaw all of the US’ embassies and the center that combats extremist messaging is likely to replace Nikki Haley

AP, WASHINGTON

US President Donald Trump is expected to nominate US Department of State spokeswoman Heather Nauert to be the next US ambassador to the UN, officials familiar with the plan said on Thursday.

A Republican congressional aide said Trump was expected to announce his decision on Twitter yesterday morning.

Trump had previously said that Nauert was under serious consideration to replace US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley, who in October announced that she would step down at the end of this year.

If Nauert is confirmed by the US Senate, she would be a leading administration voice on Trump’s foreign policy.

Still, with Trump, no staffing decision is final until he makes the formal announcement, since he has been known to change course.

Nauert did not respond to requests for comment.

She was a reporter for Fox News before she became department spokeswoman under former US secretary of state Rex Tillerson.

Nauert catapulted into the upper echelons of the agency’s hierarchy when Tillerson was fired in March and replaced with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

Nauert was then appointed acting undersecretary of state for public diplomacy and public affairs, and was for a time the highest-ranking woman and fourth highest-ranking official in the building.

Nauert, who did not have a good relationship with Tillerson, told associates at the time she was taken aback by the promotion offer and had recommended a colleague for the job, but when White House officials told her they wanted her, she accepted.

She oversaw public diplomacy in Washington and all of the about 275 overseas US embassies, consulates and other posts.

She was also in charge of the US Global Engagement Center that fights extremist messaging from the Islamic State group and others, and she has a seat on the US Agency for Global Media that oversees government broadcast networks such as Voice of America.

Just 18 months ago, she was not even in government.

Nauert was a breaking news anchor on Fox & Friends when she was tapped to be the face and voice of the US’ foreign policy.

She had come to Fox from ABC News, where she was a general assignment reporter. She had not specialized in foreign policy or international relations.

Shut out from the top by Tillerson and his inner circle, Nauert developed relationships with career diplomats. Barred from traveling with Tillerson, she embarked on her own overseas trips, visiting Bangladesh and Myanmar last year to see the plight of Rohingya Muslims, and then Israel after a planned stop in Syria was scrapped.

All the while, she stayed in the good graces of the White House.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders in March described Nauert as “a team player” and “a strong asset for the administration.”

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