State Department spokesperson cites family reasons for not taking the U.N. position offered to her after Haley’s resignation.
By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News
Heather Nauert has decided not to accept President Donald Trump’s offer to become his new envoy to the United Nations, according to a statement released by the State Department on Saturday.
Nauert cited family considerations as the reason for her decision.
“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,” she said.
However, there may be another reason. Bloomberg News reported the same day that Nauert, who was acting undersecretary for public diplomacy and public affairs for most of 2018, had employed a nanny who legally entered the country but did not have a proper work visa.
Trump’s choice of Nauert, who hosted the conservative Fox News channel before becoming the State Department spokeswoman, raised Democratic eyebrows when he announced the nomination in early December, as she lacked diplomatic experience.
“She’s clearly not qualified for this job,” said Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn) on CNN at the time. “But these days it seems that the most important qualification is that you show up on Donald Trump’s TV screen.”
Media reports have cited unnamed congressional aides as saying that it would be difficult to get her nomination approved in the Senate due to the absence of her familiarity with foreign policy, even though the upper house is still controlled by the Republicans.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that he respected Nauert’s decision and praised her job performance, noting that she did her work with “unequalled excellence.”
Nauert’s nomination had been welcomed by Israel’s UN ambassador, Danny Danon, who said that she was someone who has “stood by Israel in her previous position.”
Nauert’s withdrawal came before confirmation hearings were held in the Senate regarding the position. The State Department statement said that the president would nominate someone else for the prestigious posting “soon.”