President Trump announced Friday that he has selected Kelly Craft, the US ambassador to Canada, as his nominee to serve as the next US ambassador to the United Nations. Trump said in a pair of tweets that Craft "has done an outstanding job representing our Nation" and he has "no doubt that, under her leadership, our Country will be represented at the highest level." Two people familiar with the matter told the AP that Trump had been advised that Craft's confirmation would be the smoothest of the three candidates he'd been considering to fill the job last held by Nikki Haley. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had backed Craft for the post, and she also has the support of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and national security adviser John Bolton, the people say. Trump's first pick to replace Haley, State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert, withdrew over the weekend.
Craft, a Kentucky native, was a member of the US delegation to the UN General Assembly under President George W. Bush's administration. She's also friends with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's wife, Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, and thanked Chao for her "longtime friendship and support" at her swearing-in as ambassador. As US ambassador to Canada, she played a role in facilitating the US-Mexico-Canada trade agreement, a revamp of NAFTA. Craft is married to billionaire coal-mining executive Joe Craft, and they're major GOP donors. After being named ambassador to Canada, Craft made headlines for telling the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. that she believes in "both sides" of climate science.
Craft has been ambassador during a low point in relations: Last year Trump called Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau weak and dishonest, shocking Canadians. (Read more ambassador stories.)