Trump to pick ex-Fox News host for UN ambassador

Heather Nauert nomination is expected to be however rejected due to her complete lack of experience

Photo: EPA State Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert

US President Donald Trump is expected to nominate State Department spokeswoman and ex-TV host Heather Nauert to be his new ambassador to the UN, positioning a relatively inexperienced newcomer in one of the most high-profile positions in US diplomacy, numerous media outlets state. According to sources Nauert has already accepted the job and now Trump will make the announcement official through his favourite social media - Twitter later today.  

Nauert’s candidacy has the strong support of Secretary of State Michael Pompeo, who came to trust her as a reliable voice and advocate for Trump’s agenda, which represented a stark turnaround from the era of Pompeo’s predecessor, Rex Tillerson, who shut her out from his inner circle. Furthermore, White House aides believe Nauert’s key assets include strong communications skills and a fluency with the the Trump White House, particularly in understanding the thinking of the president.

Nauert, however, is quite an unusual choice for the UN role given the fact she has almost no experience in government or foreign policy, besides being State Department's spokesperson for 6 months. Before taking the job there she was an anchor and correspondent for Fox News, including on the “Fox and Friends” show watched by Trump. Thus, she is quite unlikely to face an easy confirmation battle given her lack of experience and the likelihood that she’ll be asked to answer for the Trump administration’s scorn for international bodies, including the UN.

If Nauert, however, wins Senate confirmation, she would be taking the position amid a roster of thorny global challenges, topped by the need to maintain international sanctions on North Korea. Her successor Haley rallied global support for tougher measures in 2017, when Pyongyang ramped up its ballistic missile and weapons testing, but there has been increasing pressure from other countries to ease up on the restrictions since Trump’s meeting with Kim Jong Un in June.

The 48-year-old reporter will also take up the administration’s efforts to defend Israel at the UN and counter what Haley called the organisation’s bias against the Jewish state. In a sign of the difficulties the administration has had, the UN General Assembly on Thursday rejected a US-sponsored resolution condemning Hamas, the Islamist group that has ruled the Gaza Strip since 2007.

A key question with Nauert will be whether the president keeps the UN envoy job as a Cabinet-level position, or downgrades it to report through Pompeo, as other administrations have sometimes done. Haley successfully argued for a Cabinet-level post and wielded broad influence, carving out her own authority separate from Tillerson.

Nauert's nomination comes after few months ago UN Ambassador Nikki Haley unexpectedly announced her resignation and promised to serve in her role through the end of 2018. At the time, she described her time in the position as a "blessing," but offered no reason for leaving except a belief that government officials must know "when it’s time to step aside."

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