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Heather Nauert Withdraws From Consideration For U.N. Ambassador

Department of State Spokesperson Heather Nauert withdrew herself from consideration for the nomination of U.S. ambassador to the U.N. on Saturday.
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Department of State Spokesperson Heather Nauert withdrew herself from consideration for the nomination of U.S. ambassador to the U.N. on Saturday.

Updated at 5:20 a.m. ET Monday

State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert withdrew herself from consideration on Saturday for the nomination of U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.

"I am grateful to President Trump and Secretary [of State Mike] Pompeo for the trust they placed in me for considering me for the position of U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations," she said, according to a statement released by the State Department. "However, 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."

The Washington Post reports that Nauert's nomination "faced complications" after it was revealed that she had "hired a foreign-born nanny about 10 years ago who didn't have the proper work visa and Nauert didn't pay proper taxes on time, according to two officials involved in her nomination process."

Trump picked the former Fox & Friends host to become the next ambassador to the U.N. in December. Had she been confirmed, Nauert would have replaced Nikki Haley, who resigned as ambassador in October.

But in the more than two months since her nomination was announced, Nauert's credentials for the position have been questioned.

Nauert had no government or foreign policy experience until she joined the Trump administration in 2017, NPR's Michele Kelemen reported, beyond overseas stints for ABC, including in Baghdad.

During her nearly two-year tenure in the State Department, Nauert has worked alongside former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, and then Pompeo.

"Heather Nauert has performed her duties as a senior member of my team with unequalled excellence," Pompeo said in a statement. "Her personal decision today to withdraw her name from consideration to become the nominee for United States Ambassador to the United Nations is a decision for which I have great respect."

Her time at the State Department was not without controversy. As NPR's Kelemen noted following Nauert's nomination:

"She faced some criticism for a tourist-like Instagram post from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on a trip that was meant to focus on the killing of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi.

"There have been other missteps, including the time when she cited D-Day — the Allied invasion of Normandy against the Nazis — as an example of America's strong relationship with Germany."

State Department Deputy Spokesperson Robert Palladino says Trump will pick a new nominee for the position soon. Before nominating Nauert, Trump had considered former White House aide Dina Powell.

There had also been rumors that his daughter Ivanka Trump was under consideration. NPR's Laurel Wamsley reported that "the president was asked whether he was considering nominating Ivanka Trump for the U.N. post. Trump replied that she would be 'dynamite' in the job, but he was concerned about being accused of nepotism."

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