Trump to nominate Nauert as United Nations ambassador

President TrumpDonald John Trump2020 Democrats spar over socialism ahead of first debate Senate passes .5 billion border bill, setting up fight with House 'Teflon Don' avoids the scorn of the 'family values' GOP — again MORE officially tapped State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, ending weeks of speculation about Nikki HaleyNimrata (Nikki) HaleyTrump rules out Haley joining 2020 ticket The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump targets Iran with new sanctions Nikki Haley blasts Roy Moore's Senate bid: 'He does not represent our Republican Party' 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 TillersonThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump targets Iran with new sanctions Leaked Trump transition vetting documents show numerous officials with 'red flags': Axios Bolton says Russia, China seeking to promote discord in Trump administration MORE and currently serves under his successor, Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard Pompeo2 US service members killed in Afghanistan after Pompeo visit The Hill's Morning Report - Democratic debates: Miami nice or spice? State Department need not be at odds with itself on Republic of Cyprus policy 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.