Published: Sun, December 09, 2018
Worldwide | By Lisa Hogan

Cabinet shake-up: Trump picks attorney general, United Nations envoy

Cabinet shake-up: Trump picks attorney general, United Nations envoy

The bottom line is that as a two-term governor and national celebrity Nikki Haley was in a position to insist on a seat at the Cabinet table with Trump, and the neophyte Nauert isn't, which probably helps explain why her State Department boss Pompeo was promoting her candidacy for the gig from the get-go.

Nauert, who Trump praised as being "very talented" and "very smart", would replace Ambassador Nikki Haley who has been a vocal advocate for United States foreign policy and Israel at the UN.

Nauert assumed the new high-profile role after holding just one position in government, that of State Department spokesperson, which she held from late April 2017 until now, but this was apparently more than outweighed by her extensive journalistic experience. But since Republicans will continue to hold a majority in the Senate when the new Congress convenes in January, experts say she is likely to be confirmed.

Asked whether the USA was ever truly poised to attack North Korea, Haley told The Atlantic: "No".

While Nauert struggled during the tenure of former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson - so ostracized from his inner circle that she considered quitting - she could now bring to the United Nations close ties to the White House and a good working relationship with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

"Let's remember in large part what has gotten the Israelis and Palestinians to this point, and that is Hamas", she said at a state department briefing last month.

"I think Heather Nauert is smart".

Nauert covered domestic and worldwide stories as an ABC News correspondent from 2005 to 2007 prior to joining Fox. She is a quick study.

"Heather Nauert is not going to be a big-time player in the deliberations on substance in the administration", he said.

She has also worked as a general assignment reporter for ABC News. "Ambassador Haley will always be a true friend of the State of Israel".

Nauert, who did not have a good relationship with Tillerson and had considered leaving the department, told associates at the time she was taken aback by the promotion offer and recommended a colleague for the job.

Both Trump and Pompeo have been highly critical of the United Nations and other multilateral institutions, with Pompeo noting in a Brussels speech earlier this week that "multilateralism has become viewed as an end unto itself".

"We need more than a smooth spokesperson".

But the nomination has been met with concern, considering comments Ms Nauert has made in the past and her relative inexperience.

"I worry that we will grow ever more isolated on this, the most important of world stages", he said.

United Nations diplomats say that behind the scenes negotiations are central to an ambassador's job, and that presentation skills are also important.

According to Daniel Benjamin, a state department counterterrorism coordinator during the Barack Obama administration, Nauert's appointment shows that Trump and his top officials are looking to firmly control USA foreign policy.

"Ms. Nauert has stood by the State of Israel in her previous positions, and I have no doubt that the cooperation between our two countries will continue to strengthen as ambassador to the UN", Israel's UN ambassador, Danny Danon, said in NY.

Like this: