WASHINGTON >> Heather Nauert, picked by President Donald Trump to be the next U.S. ambassador to the United Nations but never officially nominated, has withdrawn from consideration, the State Department said.
Nauert, a State Department spokeswoman, said in a statement that “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.”
She was a Fox News Channel reporter with little foreign policy experience when she joined the State Department as spokeswoman almost two years ago when Rex Tillerson was secretary of state. Nauert rose to the upper echelons of the department’s hierarchy after Trump fired Tillerson in March 2018 and Mike Pompeo replaced him.
In a statement, Pompeo said he respected Nauert’s decision on the U.N. job and that she performed her duties as a senior member of his team “with unequalled excellence.”
“Serving in the Administration for the past two years has been one of the highest honors of my life and I will always be grateful to the President, the Secretary, and my colleagues at the State Department for their support,” Nauert said in the statement provided by the department.
Before coming to the State Department, Nauert was a breaking news anchor on Trump’s favorite television show, “Fox & Friends.” With a master’s degree from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism, she had moved to Fox from ABC News, where she was a general assignment reporter.
Nauert, who did not have a good relationship with Tillerson and had considered leaving the department, was appointed acting undersecretary of state for public diplomacy and public affairs after his departure. The appointment ended in October.
The State Department said Trump would announce a nominee for the U.N position “soon.”