President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump takes shot at new GOP candidate in Ohio over Cleveland nickname GOP political operatives indicted over illegal campaign contribution from Russian national in 2016 On The Money — Dems dare GOP to vote for shutdown, default MORE officially tapped State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, ending weeks of speculation about Nikki HaleyNikki HaleyPoll: Trump dominates 2024 Republican primary field Harris to hold fundraiser for McAuliffe ahead of Virginia governor's race Allies see rising prospect of Trump 2024 White House bid 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.
I am pleased to announce that Heather Nauert, Spokeswoman for the United States Department of State, will be nominated to serve as United Nations Ambassador. I want to congratulate Heather, and thank Ambassador Nikki Haley for her great service to our Country!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 7, 2018
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.
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 Morning Report - Presented by AT&T - Supreme Court lets Texas abortion law stand Trump-era ban on travel to North Korea extended Want to evaluate Donald Trump's judgment? Listen to Donald Trump MORE and currently serves under his successor, Mike PompeoMike PompeoPoll: Biden, Trump statistically tied in favorability Majority of voters disapprove of execution of Afghanistan withdrawal: poll Sunday shows preview: Coronavirus dominates as country struggles with delta variant 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.