Trump to name Heather Nauert next United Nations ambassador, reports say

Frederick Owens
December 9, 2018

The bottom line is that as a two-term governor and national celebrity Nikki Haley was in a position to insist on a seat at the Cabinet table with Trump, and the neophyte Nauert isn't, which probably helps explain why her State Department boss Pompeo was promoting her candidacy for the gig from the get-go.

In an administration rife with internal conflict and deeply distrustful of the UN, Nauert's nomination would place a less senior person at the worldwide agency than outspoken current ambassador Nikki Haley, who reportedly sparred with other administration officials.

"She's going to work with Nikki Haley to replace Nikki at the United Nations", Trump told reporters at the White House Friday. But since Republicans will continue to hold a majority in the Senate when the new Congress convenes in January, experts say she is likely to be confirmed.

Nauert will face a full plate at the United Nations, with Iran and North Korea and other issues dominating the US agenda there. With Mike Pompeo in charge of State, Nauert has been on the road much more.

"I think Heather Nauert is smart".

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.

A Columbia journalism school graduate and former ABC reporter, Ms. Nauert had two stints at Fox News, the first of which started in 1998 as a reporter.

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At the State Department, Nauert scaled back what had previously been daily news conferences in previous administrations, sometimes making them just once-a-week events.

Critics have said that while Ms. Nauert may have significant journalism credentials, she lacks foreign policy or other equivalent experience required for the United Nations job.

"We need more than a smooth spokesperson".

At a State Department briefing on June 5, Nauert was asked about controversial comments that U.S. Ambassador to Germany Ric Grenell had recently made., comments which had upset the Germans.

Heather Nauert, who has shown poise in front of the cameras and mostly avoided gaffes, would succeed Nikki Haley, a former SC governor seen as entertaining ambitions for higher political office.

Nauert has indicated a priority for her is the plight of Myanmar's Rohingya minority. "Many of our students choose a path of service to others, so we are thrilled to have played a part in Heather Nauert's impressive career and wish her success in her new role", Zinnar-Shavit said in an e-mail. Then-Senate Armed Services Chairman John McCain, R-Ariz., and others like Lindsey Graham, R-S.C. - now a close Trump ally - hammered Obama for giving a deputy national security adviser job to Ben Rhodes despite his lack of previous experience in those areas.

"With Pompeo more firmly in control and Bolton focused on his anti-multilateral agenda, there's a sense the U.S. ambassador will have less clout", Gowan said. "If confirmed, I look forward to continuing the outstanding job Ambassador Haley has done representing your administration and the American people".

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