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In Surprise, Trump's Pick for UN Ambassador Withdraws

Heather Nauert cites her family as a driving reason
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 17, 2019 5:06 AM CST
In this Aug. 9, 2017 file photo, State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert speaks during a briefing at the State Department in Washington.   (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)

(Newser) – Heather Nauert, picked by President Trump to be the next US ambassador to the United Nations but never officially nominated, has withdrawn from consideration, the State Department said. Nauert, a State Department spokeswoman who was previously a breaking news anchor on Fox & Friends, said in a department statement that "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's impending nomination had been considered a tough sell in the Senate, where she would have faced tough questions about her relative lack of foreign policy experience, according to congressional aides. A potential issue involving a nanny that she and her husband had employed may also have been a factor in her decision to withdraw, according to one aide.

That issue, which was first reported by Bloomberg on Saturday, centered on a foreign nanny who was legally in the US but did not have legal status to work, according to the aide, who spoke on condition of anonymity. Trump's initial UN ambassador, Nikki Haley, announced her resignation in October with plans to step down by year's end. That December, Trump said he would nominate Nauert. In the wake of November elections that strengthened Republican control of the Senate, her confirmation appeared likely if not easy. Yet Trump never put Nauert's name forward with the Senate and no confirmation hearing was scheduled, reports the AP. The State Department said in its statement that Trump would announce a nominee for the UN position "soon."

(Read more Heather Nauert stories.)

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