Trump expected to pick former Fox News reporter Heather Nauert for UN ambassador
|Toronto Star 06 Dec 2018 at 19:46|
WASHINGTONâ€”U.S. President Donald Trump is expected to announce he will nominate State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert to be the next U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, officials familiar with the plans said Thursday.
Two administration officials confirmed Trumpâ€™s plans. A Republican congressional aide said the president was expected to announce his decision by tweet on Friday morning. The officials were not authorized to speak publicly before Trumpâ€™s announcement.
U.S. President Donald Trump is set to name State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert as the next U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, according to multiple reports on Thursday.Â Â (MANDEL NGAN / AFP/GETTY IMAGES)
Trump has previously said Nauert was under serious consideration to replace Nikki Haley, who announced in October that she would step down at the end of this year. If Nauert is confirmed by the Senate, she would be a leading administration voice on Trumpâ€™s foreign policy.
Trump told reporters last month that Nauert was â€śexcellent,â€ť adding, â€śSheâ€™s been a supporter for a long time.â€ť
Still, with Trump, no staffing decision is final until he makes the formal announcement, since he has been known to change course in the past.
Nauert did not respond to requests for comment.
She was a reporter for Fox News Channel before she became State Department spokesperson under former secretary Rex Tillerson.
Plucked from Fox by the White House to serve as State Department spokesperson, Nauert catapulted into the upper echelons of the agencyâ€™s hierarchy when Tillerson was fired in March. 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 and had considered leaving the department, told associates at the time she was taken aback by the promotion offer and recommended a colleague for the job. But when White House officials told her they wanted her, she accepted.
That role gave her responsibilities far beyond the news conferences she held in the State Department briefing room. She oversees public diplomacy in Washington and all of the roughly 275 overseas U.S. embassies, consulates and other posts. She is in charge of the Global Engagement Center that fights extremist messaging from Daesh and others, and she has a seat on the U.S. Agency for Global Media that oversees government broadcast networks such as Voice of America.
Just 18 months ago, she wasnâ€™t even in government.
Nauert was a breaking news anchor on Trumpâ€™s favourite television show, â€śFox & Friends,â€ť when she was tapped to be the face and voice of the administrationâ€™s foreign policy. With a masterâ€™s degree from Columbia Universityâ€™s Graduate School of Journalism, she had come to Fox from ABC News, where she was a general assignment reporter. She hadnâ€™t 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 travelling with Tillerson, she embarked on her own overseas trips, visiting Bangladesh and Burma 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, even as Tillerson was increasingly on the outs.
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders described Nauert in March as â€śa team playerâ€ť and â€śa strong asset for the administration.â€ť