Trump to Pick State Department Spokeswoman for UN Ambassador

Geneva Stokes
December 7, 2018

US President Donald Trump is set to announce state department spokeswoman Heather Nauert as his new ambassador to the United Nations, US media report.

According to her State Department biography, she worked at ABC News prior to her time at Fox, and before that spent a term as a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Ms Nauert, 48, was made state department spokeswoman in April 2017, her first government position.

She would replace Nikki Haley, who announced that she was resigning in October.

Ms Nauert, whose nomination would require Senate confirmation, is a former Fox News Channel correspondent and anchor. Trump is one of the show's biggest fans, and he often finds inspiration in the hosts' remarks as topics for his morning tweets.

The announcement is expected to come on Friday, two officials say.

Nonetheless, during her two-year stint, Haley became a darling of the Trump administration and the pro-Israel community for her vociferous defense of the Jewish state at the United Nations, a body often seen as hostile to Israel.

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In addition to that role, Ms Nauert was appointed acting undersecretary for public diplomacy and public affairs in March this year.

Numerous reports in the United States media - the first of which appeared in Bloomberg news - said Nauert would be nominated Friday, citing sources close to the matter.

If Ms Nauert passes the Senate confirmation and subsequently assumes the role, her top priority will be to maintain sanctions on North Korea, which her predecessor managed to rally global support for a year ago when Kim Jong-Un was conducting his ballistic missile testing.

The president is weighing a number of other end-of-year staff changes, including replacing Chief of Staff John Kelly, two of Trump's advisers said on Thursday.

President Trump said she had done "an incredible job".

A key question with Nauert will be whether the president keeps the United Nations envoy job as a Cabinet-level position, or downgrades it to report through Pompeo, as other administrations have sometimes done.

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