Washington: Donald Trump has decided to name the state department spokeswoman and former Fox News anchor Heather Nauert as the ambassador to the United Nations, a source familiar with his decision told Reuters.
Trump will send a tweet on Friday morning about choosing Nauert to replace the outgoing UN ambassador, Nikki Haley, who announced her resignation in October, Fox News reported, citing multiple sources.
Trump’s decision was first reported by Bloomberg News.
Requests for comment to the state department and the White House were not immediately returned.
Haley has held the post since the beginning of Trump’s administration and said she would stay in the job through the end of the year.
Nauert, whose nomination would require Senate confirmation, is a former Fox News Channel correspondent and anchor. She does not have prior political or policy-making experience.
Nauert became the state department spokeswoman in April 2017 and this year was named the acting undersecretary for public diplomacy and public affairs.
It was reported in November that Nauert had been offered the job, but it was not clear at the time whether she had accepted. She met with Trump at the end of October, fuelling speculation that she had emerged as the president’s top choice for the role.
“She’s excellent. She’s been with us a long time,” Trump said of Nauert last month. “She’s been a supporter for a long time.”
The president has reportedly sought out someone who will demonstrate loyalty. Officials at the White House at times viewed Haley with scepticism, in part over her willingness to publicly disagree with the president.
Haley took a particularly forceful posture against Russia, assailing the Kremlin at UN Security Council meetings over its aggression in Ukraine and support for Bashar al-Assad in Syria, even as Trump remained reluctant to criticise Vladimir Putin.
Nauert has kept close ties to the West Wing and is seen by the president as more inclined to defend him on the job. Trump had a fractious relationship with Nauert’s first boss, the former secretary of state Rex Tillerson, but continued to hold a favourable view of the state department’s top spokeswoman.
Nauert will probably be pressed on her qualifications by Senate Democrats and could face a contentious confirmation hearing, but needs only a simple majority vote to be elevated to the role.