State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert has emerged as one of President Donald Trump’s favorites to replace outgoing United Nations ambassador Nikki Haley, according to reports from Politico.
The report references three of Trump’s closest advisers as its sources and says that Nauert has become the face of a new batch of candidates which also includes Kelly Knight Craft, Trump’s Ambassador to Canada, Jamie McCourt, Trump’s Ambassador to France, and Richard Grenell, Trump’s Ambassador to Germany.
Haley caused a shockwave in Washington with her surprise resignation. In the aftermath of the news breaking, President Trump said that a successor would be appointed within two to three weeks.
Another strong early contender was Dina Powell, who had previously served as Trump’s Deputy National Security Adviser. Despite leaving the role at the beginning of 2018, there was much speculation Trump would select her for a return to the administration.
Nauert stands out because of her previous experience as a Fox News anchor. The report reveals that a former Fox News executive told them that the potential appointment of Nauert has “Fox News staffers buzzing.” Trump is a well-known viewer of the network.
One of the major factors in Naurert’s potential ascension has been the Trump administration’s appreciation of the skillfulness she employed when she had defended the president’s policies while serving as the State Department Spokesperson.
Nikki Haley made clear her value as an advocate for the Trump administration on television—and the White House is looking for somebody telegenic to replace her https://t.co/S2IDWJkQ5k
— POLITICO (@politico) October 16, 2018
Nauert enjoys a close relationship with current Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, even traveling with him as he made a special trip to Saudi Arabia on Tuesday. Nauert has also emerged as a possible replacement for Sarah Huckabee Sanders as the White House Press Secretary if she were to leave her role, although with the drop in on-camera press conferences in recent months, that role doesn’t carry the same gravitas it did previously.
Prior to joining the State Department in 2017, Nauert had no foreign policy credentials. While the role will require a certain level of television charisma and strong support for the administration that she has previously displayed, the role will consist of more than just making television appearances in regards to foreign policy.
Nauert would face similar difficult negotiation processes to the ones Haley faced when negotiating for tougher sanctions on North Korea. When Trump eventually met with North Korean Kim Jong Un, he cited those very sanctions as an important factor in causing Kim to open up a dialogue with the United States over the North Korean nuclear program.