State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said Saturday she has withdrawn from consideration as UN ambassador.
President Donald Trump had previously announced he was picking Nauert, but the formal nomination had not been sent to the Senate.
“I am grateful to President Trump and Secretary Pompeo for the trust they placed in me for considering me for the position of US Ambassador to the United Nations. However, the past two months have been grueling for my family and therefore it is in the best interest of my family that I withdraw my name from consideration. Serving in the Administration for the past two years has been one of the highest honors of my life and I will always be grateful to the President, the Secretary, and my colleagues at the State Department for their support,” Nauert said in a statement from the State Department.
The State Department said Trump will make an announcement about a new nominee soon.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement from the State Department, “Heather Nauert has performed her duties as a senior member of my team with unequalled excellence. Her personal decision today to withdraw her name from consideration to become the nominee for United States Ambassador to the United Nations is a decision for which I have great respect.
“I wish Heather nothing but the best in all of her future endeavors,” Pompeo continued, “and know that she will continue to be a great representative of this nation in whatever role she finds herself.”
CNN reported last month there appeared to be no urgency from the White House or Republicans to confirm Nauert, a former Fox News anchor who started working at the State Department in 2017. Trump made the announcement he was picking Nauert in a tweet in early December, and months later the nomination still had not been made official and there were no dates set for a Senate confirmation hearing.
Multiple sources told CNN they felt that was a sign of trouble for her.
There were concerns that Nauert would be face a difficult confirmation process, several sources familiar with the matter had told CNN.
“There have been predictions of a stormy ride in confirmation, with many on the Hill saying this was a job done by Henry Cabot Lodge, Madeleine Albright, Daniel Moynihan, Jeane Kirkpatrick, Richard Holbrooke, Bill Richardson … and now a Fox News presenter?”a senior diplomatic source told CNN.
CNN’s KFile reported last week that Nauert once hosted a panel on unfounded conspiracy theories that Islamic fundamentalists are secretly trying to destroy America by imposing Sharia law. In 2009, Nauert hosted an hour-long Fox News special webcast titled “Terror from Within,” which featured anti-Muslim activists. Nauert at the time introduced the program as exploring “a school of thought that there is a stealthy jihad taking place within the US. And the theory is that some in our country want to destroy our America from within.”
They would destroy America, Nauert continued, “by using our own legal system against us, by undermining our financial system and even taking away our holidays. The fact that we are a PC, politically correct country, well, that will only be used against us.”
By Michelle Kosinski and Ryan Browne, CNN