The former Fox News host had been Trump’s top pick for the spot since mid-October, shortly after Nikki Haley surprised the White House by announcing her departure by the end of the year. Trump was reportedly looking for a loyal candidate who had a willingness to defend him, according to CNN.
Trump called his U.N. pick “very talented, very smart and very quick” as he spoke to reporters in front of the White House, praising her work at the State Department.
“I think she’s going to be respected by all,” he said.
Haley had insisted that her ambassadorship be a Cabinet-level role, but Secretary of State Mike Pompeo reportedly has asked that Nauert’s position not be so high-level.
Nauert was criticized over a “stunningly tone deaf” Instagram photo she shared in October depicting her smiling in the Saudi Arabian capital of Riyadh shortly after Pompeo arrived there to discuss the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, a U.S. resident. The Saudi government would later admit that Khashoggi had been murdered.
Sara Boboltz contributed to this report.