Published: Sat, December 08, 2018
Worldwide | By Jermaine Blake

Washington's incoming United Nations ambassador sign of declining diplomatic clout

Washington's incoming United Nations ambassador sign of declining diplomatic clout

Trump announced Friday that he plans to nominate William Barr, the George H.W. Bush-era leader of the Justice Department, as his next attorney general, as well as State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert to succeed outgoing U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley.

Bloomberg said Ms Nauert would be an unorthodox choice, given the little experience she had in government or foreign policy before she took up the role at the state department. "And I think she's going to be respected by all".

If she gets the job, Nauert would take the post with less clout than Haley, a former SC governor who announced in October that she would step down at the end of this year.

Aaron David Miller of the Wilson Center says Nauert has a different profile from past USA ambassadors to the United Nations.

"We guide all of our students to find their passion and set out to achieve their personal and professional goals".

The president said Nauert is "somebody that we know very well" and "has done a great job" as the State Department's press secretary. Then-Senate Armed Services Chairman John McCain, R-Ariz., and others like Lindsey Graham, R-S.C. - now a close Trump ally - hammered Obama for giving a deputy national security adviser job to Ben Rhodes despite his lack of previous experience in those areas. It's likely that she'll also be asked to answer for the Trump administration's scorn for worldwide bodies, including the UN, Bloomberg News reported.

Nikki Haley Award
Nikki Haley announced in October that she would step down at the end of this year

Ms Nauert worked for Fox News from 1998 to 2005 and, after two years away during which she worked for ABC, she returned to Fox in 2007, later becoming a presenter for Fox & Friends. Material from Globe wire services was used in this report. "Ambassador Haley was a far more high-level figure, particularly early in the administration".

Without elaborating on the topics, she added, "For the most part he's been very willing to listen and very willing to come around".

Nauert, a native of Rockford, Illinois, also worked at State as the acting undersecretary for public diplomacy and public affairs. It's more a matter of the personal clout of the person holding the position, vis-à-vis the nominal figures directing USA foreign policy like the secretary of State and the president's national security adviser - the two people Jonathan Swan cites as insisting on Nauert's non-Cabinet rank.

Nauert´s appointment would reinforce the link between Fox News and Trump, who has been accused of turning to the conservative-leaning channel, rather than experts, for policy advice.

By not selecting a veteran foreign policy or national security hand who might push back on his decisions or try to push him toward another option, Trump is making clear he is the diplomat-in-chief.

Originally from Wisconsin, she attended Mount Vernon College, a now-defunct all-women´s school in Washington, before graduating from the elite Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.

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