Lindsey Graham endorses Nauert as next United Nations ambassador

Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamTrump declassification move unnerves Democrats Climate change is a GOP issue, too New Yorker cover titled 'The Shining' shows Graham, McConnell, Barr polishing Trump's shoes MORE (R-S.C.) on Friday praised Heather Nauert, President TrumpDonald John TrumpA better VA, with mental health services, is essential for America's veterans Pelosi, Nadler tangle on impeachment, contempt vote Trump arrives in Japan to kick off 4-day state visit MORE's pick to succeed Nikki HaleyNimrata (Nikki) HaleyWill Trump ignore the Constitution and stay in White House beyond his term? Trump taps ex-State spokeswoman Heather Nauert to help oversee White House fellowships Conservatives slam Omar over tweet on Gaza violence 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: 1,500 troops heading to Mideast to counter Iran | Trump cites Iran tensions to push through Saudi arms sale | Senate confirms Army, Navy chiefs before weeklong recess Senators say Trump using loophole to push through Saudi arms sale Trump to send 1,500 troops to Middle East to counter Iran 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."