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Sources claim Heather Nauert withdrew from the race over reports that she hired a nanny who was not authorised to work in the US (file photo) Xinhua News Agency/PA Images
Heather Nauert

Former Fox News host Heather Nauert pulls out of bid to become next US ambassador to UN

Heather Nauert announced her withdrawal amid criticism that she lacked the gravitas for the top diplomatic post.

FORMER FOX NEWS host and State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert has withdrawn from consideration to be the US ambassador to the United Nations.

Nauert announced her withdrawal on Saturday, amid criticism that she lacked the gravitas for one of the top diplomatic posts.

“The past two months have been grueling for my family and therefore it is in the best interest of my family that I withdraw,” Nauert said in a statement.

Her announcement came after weeks of often mocking criticism over her nomination by President Donald Trump because of her relative lack of foreign policy experience.

Leading Democrats questioned whether Nauert, despite her poise at the podium, had the skills to negotiate on complex international issues or go head-to-head with seasoned diplomats from adversaries such as Russia.

But with the Republican Party in control of the Senate, her nomination did not seem to be in serious jeopardy, raising questions on why she announced her withdrawal so abruptly.

Bloomberg News, quoting anonymous sources, said that a White House background check had discovered that Nauert had employed a nanny who was legally in the United States but not authorised to work.

Trump, whose tough line on immigration is his signature issue, started looking for a new nominee on Saturday, the report said.

Trump, an avid viewer of conservative-leaning Fox News where Nauert was once an anchor on morning show “Fox and Friends”, told reporters in December that he wanted her as UN ambassador.

Her nomination, however, was never formally submitted to the Senate, and she has vanished for over two months as she prepared for a confirmation hearing and the job.

The UN post has been vacant since the start of the year after Nikki Haley, a former South Carolina governor and rising star in Republican politics, decided to leave.

State Department deputy spokesman Robert Palladino said that Trump would put forward a new name “soon.”

- © AFP 2019

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