Trump Taps Heather Nauert to Replace Nikki Haley as U.S. Ambassador to U.N.

President said State Dept. spokeswoman is 'very talented, very smart, very quick, and I think she's going to be respected by all'

Image Credit: MANDEL NGAN / Contributor / Getty Images and Alex Wong / Staff / Getty Images

President Donald Trump announced Friday that he will nominate Department of State spokeswoman Heather Nauert to succeed U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations (U.N.) Nikki Haley.

Haley announced her resignation in October.

“I am pleased to announce that Heather Nauert, spokeswoman for the United States Department of State, will be nominated to serve as United Nations ambassador,” Trump tweeted.

“I want to congratulate Heather, and thank Ambassador Nikki Haley for her great service to our country!” he also said.

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Prior to his tweet, Trump told reporters on Friday on the White House lawn that Nauert (pictured above left), “somebody that we know very well who’s done a great job” with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, “will be nominated.”

“She’s going to work with Nikki Haley (above right) to replace Nikki at the United Nations,” Trump said.

“She’s very talented, very smart, very quick, and I think she’s going to be respected by all.”

Nauert, a former anchor at Fox News, joined the State Department as its spokesperson in April 2017.

This was her first government role.

She also served as the department’s under secretary of state for public diplomacy and public affairs from March 2018 to October 2018.

As State Department spokeswoman, Nauert worked closely with Pompeo, with whom Trump enjoys a close relationship. It didn’t take long for her name to float about following news of Haley’s resignation.

Trump accepted Haley’s resignation in October, and he told reporters at the time that Haley had broached the topic of resigning near her two-year mark with him six months earlier than that.

The two appear to be parting on good terms, and Haley told reporters during a joint appearance with Trump that she has no 2020 political ambitions. Although Haley offered no specific reason for resigning, she told reporters that all government officials must know “when it’s time to step aside.”

Haley tweeted Friday, “RT @USUN: Congratulations to Heather Nauert on her nomination by the President to be the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations.”

“We wish you well and look forward to supporting you through the transition and beyond,” she also wrote.

She added,  “Thank you Mr. President. It’s been an honor to serve.”

Many praised Trump’s new U.S. ambassador to the U.N. selection, noting that he announced his pick on the same day he tapped William Barr, who served in former President George H.W. Bush’s administration, to replace former Attorney General Jeff Sessions at the Department of Justice (DOJ).

“Bill Barr and Heather Nauert at DOJ & UN — two phenomenal picks by @realDonaldTrump,” Fox News host Laura Ingraham tweeted on Friday morning.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said of Nauert’s nomination, “I’ve known Heather for many years. She is a fine and capable person. She was an effective spokeswoman for the Department of State and enjoys the confidence of Secretary Pompeo and President Trump,” Politico’s Jake Sherman reported.

Outgoing Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said, “Heather will seamlessly transition to the country’s top diplomat at the U.N. Janna and I have known and respected Heather for many years, and we look forward to all that she will accomplish at the U.N. as an advocate for freedom, liberty, and human rights,” according to Fox News’ Mike Emanuel.

Even vocal anti-Trump Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) told CNN on Friday that he is “willing to give [Nauert] a chance,” although he specifically wants to know “what her views are of Saudi Arabia and their brazen murder and torture and dismemberment of a U.S. resident journalist” — referring to The Washington Post’s Jamal Khashoggi.

Related: Media Talking Heads Stunned by Nikki Haley’s Resignation

But others criticized Trump for selecting Nauert, highlighting her past at Fox News and her limited government and foreign policy expertise.

Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) said on CNN’s “New Day” that she would have “difficulty” voting for Nauert.

“I would have difficulty because there are those of us that care about people’s experience and qualifications,” Hirono said. “I do not know that being loyal to the president is the uppermost qualification. It is for the president, but it isn’t for me.”

CNN’s homepage blared, “BREAKING Trump picks former Fox host to be UN ambassador,” choosing to omit her current post as State Department spokeswoman in that newsflash.

CNN correspondent Michelle Kosinki threw shade at Nauert on “CNN Newsroom,” saying, “Within about a year’s time, she went from being a news reader on Fox to the number four person at State.”

Check out Trump’s remarks in the video below:

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