WASHINGTON -- Heather Nauert, U.S. President Donald Trump’s choice to be the next U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, has withdrawn from consideration, the State Department says.
"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 on February 16.
She had not yet officially been nominated for the post, and her potential confirmation by the Senate had not been assured.
Many critics had questioned the 49-year-old Nauert’s nomination, asserting that she did not have foreign diplomatic or policy-making experience and was not qualified for the high-profile position.
Nauert, a former ABC and Fox News anchor and correspondent, joined the State Department as spokeswoman in April 2017 and was named to the additional role of acting undersecretary for public diplomacy and public affairs in 2018. The undersecretary role ended in October.
She would have succeeded Nikki Haley, who announced in October that she would leave the UN post at the end of 2018.
Trump made the announcement of Nauert’s nomination to be UN ambassador on December 7.
"She's very talented, very smart, very quick and I think she is going to be respected by all," Trump said of Nauert at the time.
"She's excellent. She's been with us for a very long time. She's been a supporter for a long time,” Trump told reporters on December 1 when he first said he was considering naming Nauert to succeed Haley.
The State Department said the president would announce a nominee for the position "soon."