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February 17, 2019 12:50 pm

Trump’s Choice for UN Ambassador Withdraws: State Department

avatar by Reuters and Algemeiner Staff

Heather Nauert – the former US nominee for the UN Ambassador’s post – alongside US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on an Oct. 2018 flight to Mexico City. Photo: Reuters/Pool.

US President Donald Trump’s choice for ambassador to the United Nations, Heather Nauert, has withdrawn from consideration for the job for family reasons, the State Department said on Saturday.

Nauert was State Department spokeswoman when Trump chose her for the UN position after working as a host for the Fox News Channel. She had been criticized by Democrats for her lack of diplomatic experience.

“The past two months have been grueling for my family and therefore it is in the best interest of my family that I withdraw my name from consideration,” Nauert said in a State Department statement.

The statement did not specify the hardship on her family but the Washington Post said Nauert‘s husband and children had remained in New York while she was working in Washington.

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A person familiar with the matter told Reuters Nauert withdrew from consideration because she had a nanny who was in the United States legally but did not have the proper work visa. Nauert was not immediately available for comment.

The White House had no information on who might be the next in line for the UN job.

Trump had announced on Dec. 7 he would nominate Nauert for the UN position to replace Nikki Haley, who resigned at the end of 2018. Haley was a former South Carolina governor.

The White House had not yet formally submitted Nauert‘s nomination to the Senate.

Nauert joined the State Department as spokeswoman in April 2017, three months into the Trump administration. She was named acting undersecretary for public diplomacy and public affairs in early 2018.

The role of US ambassador to the United Nations is a highly visible international position. While Nauert had two years of high-level diplomatic experience, other nations with veto power on the UN Security Council are represented by ambassadors with decades of foreign policy work.

US Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell, previously the longest serving US spokesman at the United Nations, is among the possible replacements for Nauert as nominee, a person familiar with the matter told Reuters.

Grenell has been a controversial figure in Germany. In June 2018 he said in an interview with Breitbart News, “I absolutely want to empower other conservatives throughout Europe.” Some German lawmakers criticized him in response, according to USA Today.

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