Trump to nominate Nauert as United Nations ambassador

President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump nominates ambassador to Turkey Trump heads to Mar-a-Lago after signing bill to avert shutdown CNN, MSNBC to air ad turned down by Fox over Nazi imagery MORE officially tapped State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, ending weeks of speculation about Nikki HaleyNimrata (Nikki) HaleyUnited Methodist churches may cut ties with denomination over push to allow LGBT ministers Nikki Haley: ‘I’m too young to stop fighting’ Is a presidential appointment worth the risk? MORE’s replacement.

The U.N. post represents a significant promotion for Nauert, who since April 2017 has served as the State Department’s chief spokesperson. 

"Heather Nauert will be nominated for the ambassador to the United Nations," Trump said on Friday.

As U.S. ambassador to the U.N., Nauert will be a key figure in promoting and defending the Trump administration’s foreign policy on the international stage.

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Haley abruptly announced her plans to resign in October, a development that sent shockwaves through Washington less than a month before the midterm elections and triggered speculation about her aspirations for higher office.

Nauert was brought on under Secretary of State Rex TillersonRex Wayne TillersonTrump administration’s top European diplomat to resign in February Pompeo planning to meet with Pat Roberts amid 2020 Senate speculation Trump concealed details of meetings with Putin from senior officials: report MORE and currently serves under his successor, Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoThe Hill's Morning Report — Presented by the American Academy of HIV Medicine — Trump, Congress prepare for new border wall fight Overnight Defense: Trump to sign funding deal, declare national emergency | Shanahan says allies will be consulted on Afghanistan | Dem demands Khashoggi documents Senate confirms Trump pick William Barr as new attorney general MORE. Before that, Nauert was an anchor for Fox News. 

Nauert will have to be confirmed by the Senate in order to assume the ambassador role. Haley has said that she plans to stay on through the end of the year, offering some time for her replacement to be confirmed. 

In remarks alongside Trump in the Oval Office, Haley said in October that she wanted to take a break from public office. She quashed immediate speculation that she would try to run for president in 2020, saying she planned to support Trump for reelection.

“It’s been eight years of intense time and I’m a big believer in term limits,” Haley said. “You have to be selfless enough to know when you step aside and allow someone else to do the job.”

Haley, with whom Trump had built a close relationship, was seen as a steady and moderating voice within the administration. Her departure has been widely viewed as a loss within Republican circles.

Trump said he had a shortlist of five candidates to replace Haley shortly after her announced departure, including Dina Powell, his former deputy national security adviser. Reports surfaced in late October that Trump was considering Nauert for the position.

Updated at 11:28 a.m.