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Lindsey Graham endorses Nauert as next United Nations ambassador

Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamBiden's Cabinet a battleground for future GOP White House hopefuls Republicans ready to become deficit hawks again under a President Biden Let's give thanks to Republican defenders of democracy MORE (R-S.C.) on Friday praised Heather Nauert, President TrumpDonald John TrumpPennsylvania Supreme Court strikes down GOP bid to stop election certification Biden looks to career officials to restore trust, morale in government agencies Sunday shows preview: US health officials brace for post-holiday COVID-19 surge MORE's pick to succeed Nikki HaleyNimrata (Nikki) HaleyThe Memo: GOP mulls its future after Trump O'Brien on 2024 talk: 'There's all kinds of speculation out there' New administration, House turnover raise prospects for more diversity on K Street MORE as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, and pledged to help her confirmation process proceed smoothly.

In a statement, the South Carolina Republican called Nauert an "effective spokeswoman for the Department of State" and touted her close relationships with both Trump and Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoBiden looks to career officials to restore trust, morale in government agencies Biden faces challenges, opportunities in Middle East O'Brien on 2024 talk: 'There's all kinds of speculation out there' MORE.

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"I’ve known Heather for many years. She was an effective spokeswoman for the Department of State and enjoys the confidence of Secretary Pompeo and President Trump," Graham wrote.

"I’m sure she will perform well at her hearing and look forward to supporting her nomination," he added.

Trump announced Nauert's nomination in a tweet Friday, one day after reports surfaced of her selection. Nauert was reported to be a top choice on Trump's shortlist for the position.

Nauert, a former Fox News anchor, joined the Trump administration last year as a spokeswoman for the State Department. She now faces a confirmation battle in the GOP-controlled Senate, which confirmed Haley easily to the position last year.

Haley, her predecessor, announced was was resigning from the Trump administration unexpectedly in October, downplaying rumors of future political ambitions.

"No, I am not running in 2020," Haley told reporters at the time. “I look forward to supporting the president in the next election."