The State Department said Saturday that Heather Nauert, picked by President Trump to be the next U.S. ambassador to the United Nations but never officially nominated, has withdrawn.
Nauert, State Department spokeswoman, said that “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.”
Nauert was a Fox News reporter with little foreign policy experience when she joined the State Department as spokeswoman less than two years ago.
The nomination had been considered a tough sell in the Senate, where she would have faced questions about her relative lack of foreign policy experience, according to congressional aides. Another potential issue involving a nanny whom she and her husband had employed may also have been a factor in her decision to withdraw, according to one aide. That issue, first reported by Bloomberg on Saturday, centered on a foreign nanny who was legally in the U.S. but did not have legal status to work, said the aide, who was not authorized to discuss the matter publicly.
“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.
Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo said that he respected Nauert’s decision and that she had performed her duties as a senior member of his team “with unequalled excellence … and [I] know that she will continue to be a great representative of this nation in whatever role she finds herself.”
The State Department said Trump would announce a nominee for the position “soon.”