President Trump announced via Twitter that current Canada ambassador Kelly Knight Craft is his nominee to become the United Nations’ next United States ambassador, Fox News reports.
Trump’s announcement comes about a week after Heather Nauert, State Department spokeswoman, withdrew her name from consideration for the role. Nauert announced her decision to withdraw from consideration on Saturday and stated that while she was honored to go through the process of being nominated, the two months following her being considered was “grueling” for the Illinois native’s family.
The president explained his decision for the nomination via his Twitter account. During the thread, he said that he felt the Canada ambassador would be the top pick for the new leadership position.
“Kelly has done an outstanding job representing our Nation and I have no doubt that, under her leadership, our Country will be represented at the highest level,” Trump tweeted. “Congratulations to Kelly and her entire family!”
Craft reportedly donated $2 million to his 2016 campaign and is a former businesswoman. A native of Kentucky, she will fill the void placed by former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, who was a defender of U.S. interest at the world body and the Trump administration’s highest-ranking woman, though she often spoke against Russia and Syria, per CNBC.
Just In: President Trump is nominating Kelly Knight Craft to be the new U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. If confirmed by the Senate, Craft, currently U.S. ambassador to Canada, will succeed Nikki Haley, who announced her departure last fall. https://t.co/BzeM6wD2ly
— NPR (@NPR) February 22, 2019
The GOP donor became the top choice for the position after being recommended by Senator Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. Craft is friends with McConnell’s wife, Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao. McConnell praised President Trump for his decision on Friday, echoing the president’s tweets by stating Craft is a “strong advocate for American interests” and that she will be a powerful representative to the UN.
“She [Craft] has a long record of service to her state and the nation and I’m confident she will continue to serve with distinction as America’s voice to the world at the United Nations. I was proud to recommend this remarkable Kentuckian to President Trump,” McConnell said in his statement.
Craft is a graduate of the University of Kentucky. She worked to help facilitate the high-stakes renegotiations of the trade pact between the United States, Mexico, and Canada. She previously served as a member of the UN General Assembly under President George W. Bush. The ambassador’s husband, Joe Craft, is the president and chief executive officer of Alliance Resource Partners, L.P. Alliance is the third-largest coal producer in the eastern United States and has an estimated net worth of $1.4 billion as of 2012, per Heavy.