Washington, Feb 17 (IANS) Heather Nauert, the incumbent spokeswoman for the US State Department and also President Donald Trump’s pick to be the country’s new UN ambassador, withdrew from consideration.
“I am grateful to President Trump and Secretary (Mike) Pompeo for the trust they placed in me for considering me for the position of US Ambassador to the United Nations. However, the past two months have been gruelling for my family and therefore it is in the best interest of my family that I withdraw my name from consideration,” Nauert said in a statement on Saturday.
“Serving in the administration for the past two years has been one of the highest honours 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, had been tapped to succeed Nikki Haley at the UN who left the post by the end of last year, but her name was never formally sent to the Senate for confirmation, reports The Washington Post.
Trump in a tweet in December, had announced that he was picking Nauert for the role.
Shortly after her announcement, deputy spokesman Robert Palladino said: “Today Heather Nauert withdrew herself from consideration for the nomination of US Ambassador to the United Nations.
“The President will make an announcement soon.”
Pompeo, in a statement later on Saturday, praised Nauert, saying she performed her duties in his team with “unequalled excellence”.
“Her personal decision today to withdraw her name from consideration… is a decision for which I have great respect.
“I wish Heather nothing but the best in all of her future endeavours… And know that she will continue to be a great representative of this nation in whatever role she finds herself.”
The 48-year-old former Fox News journalist served as State Department spokeswoman during the tenure of Rex Tillerson, who was forced out last year, and for Pompeo.
In a report last month, CNN said that there was no urgency from the White House or Republicans to confirm Nauert.
Picking Nauert to represent the US in the international arena was seen as an unusual choice for Trump.
Many Democrats and experts questioned her qualifications, given the former journalist had limited political or foreign policy experience before joining the State Department.