U.S. State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert has been offered the job of U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, ABC News reported on Thursday, citing an unnamed senior White House official.
ABC News said it was not clear Nauert has agreed to accept the nomination from U.S. President Donald Trump. A source familiar with the selection process told Reuters that Nauert was “at the top of the list.”
Nauert joined the State Department as spokeswoman in April 2017. Born in Illinois, she was a breaking news anchor on Trump's favorite television show, "Fox & Friends," when she was tapped to be the face and voice of the administration's foreign policy. With a master's degree from Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism, she had come to Fox from ABC News, where she was a general assignment reporter. She hadn't specialized in foreign policy or international relations.
When Nauert arrived at the State Department in April 2017, she found relations between former U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and the diplomatic press corps in crisis. No longer were there daily briefings that had been a State Department feature for decades. Journalists accustomed to traveling with Republican and Democratic secretaries for decades found they were blocked from Tillerson's plane. Department spokespeople had no regular access to Tillerson or his top advisers.
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Shut out from the top, Nauert developed relationships with career diplomats. Barred from traveling with Tillerson, she embarked on her own overseas trips, visiting Bangladesh and Myanmar last year to see the plight of Rohingya Muslims, and then Israel after a planned stop in Syria was scrapped. Limited to two briefings a week, she began hosting a program called "The Readout" on State Department social media outlets in which she interviewed senior officials about topics of the day.
All the while, she stayed in the good graces of the White House, even as Tillerson was increasingly on the outs. White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders described Nauert as "a team player" and "a strong asset for the administration."
And she didn't shy from taking on foreign foes.
"The idea that Russia is calling for a so-called humanitarian corridor, I want to be clear, is a joke," Nauert said at one recent briefing where she took Moscow to task for its actions in Syria, where it has used military power to support President Bashar Assad's government