US State Dept. spokesperson among candidates for next UN Ambassador: Report

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WASHINGTON, Oct. 16 (APP):The US State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert is said to be among the candidates, President Trump is considering to replace his outgoing ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, who surprised the media and political circles with her announcement to leave the post by the end of this year.

Ambassador Haley made her mark on television by her strong support to the Trump administration, and the White House is looking for someone telegenic to replace her, the report in the news magazine POLITICO said on Tuesday.

Nauert, former Fox News host, is currently serving at the State Department’s spokesperson and acting Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, and has said to be grown closer to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

Ms. Nauert is currently travelling with the Secretary Pompeo on a visit to Saudi Arabia amid controversy over the death of an Arab journalist who had been critical to the government and the Crown Prince.

“White House aides view her as a capable advocate for the Trump administration’s foreign policy. She is also a leading candidate to replace  White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders when she leaves the White House, the report said.

But, the report quoting White House officials, said that the process to replace Ambassador Haley was still in early stages and that the pool of candidates include Ambassadors Kelly Knight Craft, Jamie McCourt and Ric Grenell, Trump’s envoys to Canada, France and Germany, respectively.

Haley will relinquish her charge by the end of the year, but it was the timing of her decision,
which caught the media by surprise, coming just weeks before the crucial mid-term elections in November. The elections will decide as to which party will control the Congress.

Haley, who served as a governor for South Carolina and then as a UN ambassador for two
years, was seen as a reliable ally of President Trump, who has fired many of his top-ranking officials since taking charge of the White House, including former US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

Nauert did not have foreign policy credentials before joining the State Department early last year but, according to the report, Trump officials believe she has capably explained and defended Trump policies in her State Department briefings, although they have been less frequent than those of her predecessors.