Bolton and Pompeo Push to Downgrade UN Ambassador Role to Control Heather Nauert

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo listens as State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert speaks during a press event.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo listens as State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert speaks during a press event. Alex Wong/Getty Images.

The Trump administration reportedly wants to rein in its next ambassador to the United Nations.

State Department spox Heather Nauert’s nomination to the role comes at a time when President Donald Trump’s national security team is looking to shift its power dynamics, according to CNN. In private, State Secretary Mike Pompeo—who has worked alongside Nauert at the State Department—has told aides “he wants the UN position downgraded from the Cabinet-level job” insisted upon by outgoing ambassador Nikki Haley. National Security Advisor John Bolton—a former UN ambassador himself—is also said to have pushed for downgrading the role.

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“The shift means Nauert would wield less clout than her predecessor, both at the UN and within the administration,” reported CNN, “and as a result, would pose nowhere near the challenge to Bolton, White House chief of staff John Kelly or Pompeo.”

At the UN, Haley sparred with senior White House officials, using her role to challenge the president on such issues as sexual misconduct while striking a harsher tone toward Russia.

The practice of granting UN ambassadors a role within the president’s cabinet has been inconsistent throughout U.S. history. Foreign Affairs previously noted that after Ronald Reagan included Jeane Kirkpatrick in his cabinet, the late George H. W. Bush discontinued the practice. Bill Clinton, meanwhile, granted Madeleine Albright a position within his cabinet, allowing her to rise to secretary of state.

A former Fox and Friends anchor, Nauert has been praised for her media savvy. Trump officially announced her nomination on Friday en route to Kansas City.

Bolton and Pompeo Push to Downgrade UN Ambassador Role to Control Heather Nauert