Trump Wants State Department Spokeswoman for UN Job, Sources Say

(Bloomberg) -- President Donald Trump wants to appoint State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert as the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, and she’s considered the front-runner to replace Nikki Haley, according to two people familiar with the matter.

Nauert, 48, is a former ABC News correspondent and Fox News anchor. She’s been the top spokesperson at State since March 2017, and survived Trump’s firing of his first secretary of State, Rex Tillerson.

Fox News reported that Trump had offered Nauert the job, but the people familiar with the matter said they weren’t sure. Fox’s John Roberts later walked back the report, saying on air that Trump “intends to nominate her.”

Trump met with Nauert on Monday, according to two people familiar with the matter.

Haley surprised White House officials last month when she said she would resign by the end of the year, saying she needed a break after two terms as South Carolina’s governor and two years at the UN. Other candidates Trump has considered to replace Haley include Richard Grenell, the U.S. ambassador to Germany; former White House aide Dina Powell; the U.S. ambassador to Canada, Kelly Craft; and Jamie McCourt, the U.S. ambassador to France and Monaco.

Nauert would be an unorthodox choice, given her lack of diplomatic experience before joining State. But while she was excluded from Tillerson’s inner circle, she has gained the trust of Secretary of State Michael Pompeo and is also close to Trump’s daughter, Ivanka, and his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, both of whom are top advisers to the president.

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