Lindsey Graham endorses Nauert as next United Nations ambassador

Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamActing Defense chief calls Graham an 'ally' after tense exchange Five takeaways from McCabe’s allegations against Trump FBI’s top lawyer believed Hillary Clinton should face charges, but was talked out of it MORE (R-S.C.) on Friday praised Heather Nauert, President TrumpDonald John TrumpSchiff urges GOP colleagues to share private concerns about Trump publicly US-China trade talks draw criticism for lack of women in pictures Overnight Defense: Trump to leave 200 troops in Syria | Trump, Kim plan one-on-one meeting | Pentagon asks DHS to justify moving funds for border wall MORE's pick to succeed Nikki HaleyNimrata (Nikki) HaleyMcConnell recommending US ambassador to Canada as new UN ambassador Nikki Haley slams media for Smollett coverage: 'He played them all for fools' Four names emerge for UN position: report 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 PompeoOvernight Defense: Trump to leave 200 troops in Syria | Trump, Kim plan one-on-one meeting | Pentagon asks DHS to justify moving funds for border wall Dems demand briefing, intel on North Korea nuclear talks Pompeo: US will not share information with countries using Huawei systems 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."