Published: Sun, December 09, 2018
Global Media | By Jackie Banks

Three Takeaways as Trump Picks Former Fox Anchor for UN Envoy Post

Three Takeaways as Trump Picks Former Fox Anchor for UN Envoy Post

If nominated and confirmed, Ms. Nauert would succeed Nikki Haley as the USA representative to the world body when her resignation takes effect at year's end.

Nauert, who Trump praised as being "very talented" and "very smart", would replace Ambassador Nikki Haley who has been a vocal advocate for U.S. foreign policy and Israel at the UN.

Nauert is also seen as close to Trump's daughter Ivanka Trump and her husband, senior White House adviser Jared Kushner.

During her tenure as a State Department spokeswoman, Nauert largely stuck to the department's official script, often deflecting questions about U.S. allies, including Israel.

To take over the Cabinet role, Nauert will need to be confirmed by the Senate.

Aaron David Miller of the Wilson Center says Nauert has a different profile from past USA ambassadors to the United Nations.

She is said to get on particularly well with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, with whom she has visited multiple countries, in addition to those she went to with Mr Pompeo's predecessor Rex Tillerson.

"I think Heather Nauert is smart".

Before joining the State Department, Nauert was an anchor and correspondent at Fox News.

She also would arrive at a time when Trump and members of his foreign policy team have all displayed sometimes open contempt for the United Nations and its affiliated agencies.

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He added that colleagues described Nauert as a quick learner who "executed her functions capably".

"Heather Nauert is not going to be a big-time player in the deliberations on substance in the administration", he said.

Ex-US ambassador to Russia, Michael McFaul, criticised the choice, saying her job as spokeswoman at the State Department is "to read talking points and explain policy". She called the job an honor of a lifetime and said she wants to let someone else take it.

Both Trump and Pompeo have been highly critical of the United Nations and other multilateral institutions, with Pompeo noting in a Brussels speech earlier this week that "multilateralism has become viewed as an end unto itself".

"If I were the State Department's spokesperson, on an official trip to learn more about the dark, dubious circumstances surrounding the disappearance of a USA resident, I probably would have skipped the tourist-in-Riyadh photos".

But the nomination has been met with concern, considering comments Ms Nauert has made in the past and her relative inexperience.

At the time, Trump, alongside Haley, said in a meeting with reporters,"She's done a fantastic job, and we've done a fantastic job together". That means Nauert could be overshadowed by Pompeo or Trump's national security adviser, John Bolton, who had the United Nations job in 2005 and 2006.

Nauert - a former anchor of "Fox and Friends", among the television-loving Trump's favourite shows - became the spokeswoman of the State Department with no foreign policy experience.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres "very much looks forward to working with Ms Nauert when she assumes her post and continuing the very productive and strong working relationship he enjoyed with Ambassador Haley", UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric told reporters.

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