Trump Will Pick Heather Nauert to Be UN Ambassador

State Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert speaks during a briefing at the State Department

President Donald Trump will nominate State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert as US ambassador to the United Nations, a source familiar with his decision said on Thursday, tapping someone with no prior policy or political experience to deal with some of the world's thorniest issues.

She will face a variety of challenges if confirmed for the job, including championing US efforts to contain Iran's influence in the Middle East and ensuring the global body maintains tough sanctions on North Korea as Washington tries to negotiate an end to Pyongyang's nuclear and missile programs. President Trump is expected to announce Friday his nomination of Nauert as the next ambassador to the United Nations.

Two administration officials confirmed Trump's plans.

Although some have speculated that Haley may challenge Mr. Trump in 2020, Haley has said that she will support the president.

Plucked from Fox by the White House to serve as State Department spokeswoman, Nauert catapulted into the upper echelons of the agency's hierarchy when Tillerson was sacked in March and replaced with Mike Pompeo.

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Nauert will be replacing Nikki Haley who announced that she will be retiring at the end of the year, saying that she wanted to "take a little time off" after her two terms in office.

Nauert joined the administration in 2017 after several years as an anchor on Fox News, and has quickly moved up the ranks, joining Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's inner circle, according to Bloomberg.

"She's excellent. She's been with us a long time", Trump said of Nauert last month.

She is also seen as close to Trump's daughter Ivanka Trump and her husband, senior White House adviser Jared Kushner.

That role gave her responsibilities far beyond the news conferences she held in the State Department briefing room. All the while, she stayed in the good graces of the White House, even as Tillerson was increasingly on the outs.

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