Heather Nauert, picked by president Donald Trump to be the next US ambassador to the United Nations, has withdrawn, the State Department said.
Ms Nauert, who was never officially nominated, said the past two months had been “gruelling” for her family, adding: “Therefore it is in the best interest of my family that I withdraw my name from consideration.”
Ms Nauert was a Fox News Channel reporter with little foreign policy experience when she joined the State Department as spokeswoman almost two years ago when Rex Tillerson was secretary of state.
She rose to the upper echelons of the department’s hierarchy after Mr Trump fired Mr Tillerson in March 2018 and Mike Pompeo replaced him.
In a statement, Mr Pompeo said he respected Ms Nauert’s decision on the UN job and that she performed her duties as a senior member of his team “with unequalled excellence”.
Ms Nauert said in the statement provided by the department: “Serving in the Administration for the past two years has been one of the highest honours of my life and I will always be grateful to the President, the Secretary, and my colleagues at the State Department for their support.”
Before coming to the State Department, Ms Nauert was a breaking news anchor on Mr Trump’s favourite television show, Fox & Friends.
With a master’s degree from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism, she had moved to Fox from ABC News, where she was a general assignment reporter.
Ms Nauert, who did not have a good relationship with Mr Tillerson and had considered leaving the department, was appointed acting undersecretary of state for public diplomacy and public affairs after his departure. The appointment ended in October.
The State Department said Mr Trump would announce a nominee for the UN position “soon”.