What could possibly go wrong for the Trump administration in nominating a former Fox & Friends host with no prior diplomatic experience to the country’s top job at the UN? A full vetting by the Senate, for one.
Heather Nauert, who currently serves as State Department spokeswoman, withdrew her name Saturday night reportedly because she once employed a nanny who wasn’t authorized to work in the U.S., Bloomberg reported. Nauert also apparently didn’t promptly pay taxes on that employee, who was legally allowed to live in the U.S., but not to work.
In a statement, Nauert cited concern for her family over a pending Senate confirmation process that would certainly inquire about the domestic employee, particularly given Donald Trump’s declaration on Friday of a national emergency over undocumented migration at the southern U.S. border.
Who knows, senators might have even asked her about her role in promoting anti-Muslim conspiracy theories that Sharia Law was coming to the U.S.
“I am grateful to President Trump and Secretary [of State Mike] Pompeo for the trust they placed in me for considering me for the position of U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations,” Nauert said in a statement reported by Bloomberg. “However, 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.”
Trump, as he is prone to do, announced Nauert’s nomination to replace former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley before Nauert was properly vetted. According to The New York Times, Trump had insisted Nauert accept the job because he couldn’t find anyone else to do it. Haley stepped down at the end of last year.
There were increasing signs of trouble with the nomination, however. First, the White House never formally nominated Nauert for the job by sending the appropriate paperwork to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
“President Trump announced his intent to nominate Nauert to be America’s top diplomat at the United Nations this past December, but he never officially sent the nomination over to the Senate for consideration,” The Washington Post reported. “That’s because her security investigation was delayed while the administration tried to figure out how to deal with the revelation that Nauert had hired the nanny despite the nanny’s lack of a proper work visa, and the fact that Nauert didn’t pay taxes on the nanny at that time, the officials said.”
Democratic Sen. Robert Menendez told the Post’s Josh Rogin, “There clearly is a problem when you don’t send her paperwork over for a critical post.” He added that “you don’t go around telling the world ‘this is going to be my nominee’ and then never send anything over.”
Apparently, you do when you’re Donald Trump. Always winning.
Former diplomat Brett Bruen told the Times that, “Heather’s background was not commensurate with the experience necessary for one of our most difficult diplomatic assignments.”
No replacement nominee has been announced yet, but some names being floated are Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell and Ambassador to Canada Kelly Craft.
It appears that Nauert won’t be returning to her job at the State Department, either. That’s according to a statement by Pompeo, who wished her “nothing but the best in all of her future endeavors.” At Fox News, no doubt.